Did the FBI Really Stop a Terrorist?

Or did it basically entrap Mohamed Osman Mohamud?
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2010 4:27 PM CST
Did the FBI Really Stop a Terrorist?
This image provided by the Mauthnomah County Sheriff's Office shows Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19.   (AP Photo/Mauthnomah County Sheriff's Office)

The media, as well as Democrats and Republicans alike, are touting the FBI’s recent arrest of a 19-year-old would-be car bomber. But is Mohamed Osman Mohamud really “some menacing sleeper terrorist” who came this close to blowing up a crowded Christmas event in Oregon—or was he prodded along "with months of encouragement, support, and money from the FBI's own undercover agents?" Glenn Greenwald examines the case in Salon, noting that “what's missing from all of these celebrations is an iota of questioning or skepticism,” and citing four suspicious items from the FBI affidavit.

”It may very well be that the FBI successfully and within legal limits arrested a dangerous criminal intent on carrying out a serious terrorist plot that would have killed many innocent people, in which case they deserve praise,” he writes. “But it may also just as easily be the case that the FBI—as they've done many times in the past—found some very young, impressionable, disaffected, hapless, aimless, inept loner; created a plot it then persuaded/manipulated/entrapped him to join, essentially turning him into a terrorist; and then patted itself on the back.” Click here to read why he suspects the latter might be true.
(Read more Mohamed Osman Mohamud stories.)

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