All are in their 20's. All are fans of "radical cleric" Anwar al-Aulaki, an American citizen who so infuriates the Feds with his criticism of their foreign policy that they scheme to assassinate him though they've neither tried nor convicted him of any crime. But murdering their nemesis doesn't content them: they want his audience, too. And so they commissioned "confidential human source[s]," a.k.a., undercover agents, to entrap our trio. All three were arrested last week as the Feds' newest trophies in their War on the Constitu-sorry, Terror.
Nor have we exhausted their similarities. Each was nabbed mere moments before he fled the U.S., Mr. Bujol while boarding a ship for the Middle East and Mr. Almonte and Mr. Alessa at Kennedy International Airport in New York. Talk about your chills and thrills! Thank Heaven for the supermen ruling us! They're faster than a speeding terrorist, more powerful than al Qaeda, and able to leap far beyond the Constitution in a single bound!
We can't expect such rulers to be original and creative as well as heroic, so details from these episodes half a country apart repeat themselves. As Newsweek put it, "both of the cases ... involved close and extended monitoring of the suspects by undercover informants, and in neither case do the feds claim that the suspects were anywhere close to launching real attacks, either inside the U.S. or overseas." Indeed, reading these reports is an exercise in déjà vu: young, unsophisticated Islamic men respond to overtures from the devout stranger at the mosque with boasts about how they, too, resent American imperialism. And they agree with their new friend that they should do something about it. Somehow, they never actually do, but who cares? It's enough that with coaching, they recite the lines that will distract too many Americans from the entrapment: "They only fear you when you have a gun and when you, when you start killing them and when you take their head, and you go like this, and you behead it on camera," Mr. Alessa allegedly announced. "My soul cannot rest until I shed blood."
The finks do more than just trick their dupes into spouting such over-the-top, vainglorious rhetoric. They also "provide" them with goodies "to courier" to terrorists overseas — or, more accurately, to groups the U.S. government tars as "terrorist." (Recall that another group that same government calls an "ally" effectively imprisons 1.5 million Gazans and recently slaughtered 9 civilians aboard a boat in international waters bringing relief to the captives.)
In Mr. Bujol's case, these treasures included "currency, pre-paid telephone calling cards, mobile telephone SIM cards, global positioning system receivers, public access-restricted U.S. military publications, including one involving UAV operations and another involving the effects of U.S. military weapon systems in operations in Afghanistan, as well as a military-issue compass and other materials, which Bujol had allegedly agreed to courier to notional [sic for "national"? Otherwise, this is the pot calling the kettle black: we can't get more notional than this airy case] ... operatives in a Middle Eastern country."
But that wasn't all the largesse our taxes bought so bored bureaucrats could toy with a citizen: the FBI's plant also gave Mr. Bujol "a false identification card ... bearing [his] photograph. Bujol used this card to gain access to the secure area of the port with the alleged intention of boarding a ship bound for the Middle East." Hard as the FBI pushed him to go, you'd think they'd have rewarded him with Kibbles'n'Bits instead of handcuffs. But no: "Shortly after Bujol boarded the ship with the material, FBI agents arrested him." Who can fathom the depravity of supermen?
Mr. Alessa and Mr. Almonte succumbed to similar subornation. Their predator, a bearded guy around their ages who spoke Arabic, was "of Egyptian descent...and...practiced hand-to-hand fighting tactics with the defendants." Alas, he had attended "a little-known NYPD counterterrorism program that grooms and deploys young undercover officers to uncover potential plots - a job one likened to being a human surveillance camera." So low have our ambitions and scruples fallen. "Posing as a devout Muslim," Mr. Camera "met the suspects in 2009 and won their trust, authorities said." Which he betrayed. We used to damn slime like this. Now it runs the country.
Not surprisingly, the trio's "crimes" are as bogus as the War on Terror. The Feds charge New Jersey's A-Team with "conspiring to injure, kill and kidnap persons outside the U.S." The Camera who goaded them to do so is a hero, of course. And Mr. Bujol allegedly "attempt[ed] to provide material support to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)," i.e., he tried to deliver the stuff his snitch supplied and cajoled him to transport. A bumper-sticker famously advises, "Don't steal. The government hates competition," and indeed it does: if anyone's going to provide material support to al Qaeda, it will be the Feds, by gum. Besides, when we serfs are feeling charitable, we can donate to their aforementioned ally — and instead of prison, we'll receive a tax-deduction.
No doubt coincidentally, these arrests bolster Leviathan's claims that home-grown terrorists endanger the homeland as fatally as foreign ones. If that's true, we can thank the beast's untiring efforts at manufacturing them. And no wonder: such peril requires us to crack down (further) on freedom. "[Mr. Bujol's] arrest is a sobering reminder of the threat we continue to face," intoned Special Agent in Charge Richard Powers. Dick has apparently seen Minority Report one too many times, because he added, "It remains the FBI's overriding priority to predict and prevent terrorist attacks, at home and abroad."
Except when they're egging them on.