Federal agents convinced a naïve, violence-inclined 21-year-old Bangladeshi that he was a member of “al-Qaeda,” giving the dupe fake bombs to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York before swarming in and arresting him on October 17. As has become typical, government officials scrambled to put out press releases patting themselves on the back for their work protecting the “Homeland.”
In reality, however, there was no al-Qaeda, there was no threat, there were no bombs, and the only alleged “plot” the FBI “foiled” was the one it helped hatch with its dupe, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis. Like the vast majority of recent domestic “terror” schemes against the United States, the latest supposed “operation” was essentially run by authorities from start to finish.
“It is important to emphasize that the public was never at risk in this case, because two of the defendant’s ‘accomplices’ were actually an FBI source and an FBI undercover agent,” Acting Assistant FBI Director Mary Galligan admitted in a press release celebrating the arrest. “The FBI continues to place the highest priority on preventing acts of terrorism.”
The criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court also confirmed that authorities gave their dupe bogus explosives to carry out the bogus attack. "The material that purported to be the explosive material was actually inert and posed no threat to the safety of the public," the document confirmed, fueling more criticism of the government’s terror-war tactics that include cultivating terrorists and supplying all their terror needs.
The apparently dim-witted young man from Bangladesh was in the United States on a student visa when he allegedly tried to find others to join him in carrying out an attack. According to the criminal complaint, he miraculously managed to find an FBI source to help on his mission. The confidential informant promptly introduced him to government agents who promised to assist.
“I don’t want something that’s like, small,” Nafis allegedly told an undercover agent who was posing as an al-Qaeda member and wearing a recording device. “I just want something big. Something very big. Very, very, very, very big, that will shake the whole country.” He was apparently hoping to “destroy America” with an attack that would bring Muslims closer to running “the whole world.”
Despite claiming to have “connections,” authorities had to convince Nafis that he really was part of al-Qaeda. "The thing that I want to ask you about is that, the thing I'm doing, is it under al-Qaeda?" the confused would-be “terrorist” asked one of his government handlers. The unidentified undercover law-enforcement officer assured the bewildered dupe that the attack would indeed be for “al-Qaeda.”
In numerous similar setups where the FBI has persuaded dupes to help plot “terror” attacks, the government offered big money in an effort to get the schemes off the ground. It remains unclear whether Nafis was given any cash reward for his “services.” However, most everything else was supplied by law enforcement — including the bogus bombs.
The undercover agent, for example, asked Nafis what he would need to carry out his “attack.” The dupe responded that he would need “a big car with lots of fruits and vegetables in there which can blow up the whole New York Stock Exchange building.” Nafis later proudly told a separate government informant, after being convinced by his handler, of course, that he was now officially a member of “al-Qaeda.”
At one point, Nafis told his handlers that he wanted to go home to see his family before the attack. However, the agents told him not to do that because law enforcement might “detect” its own plot. More than likely, Nafis was urged not to go home to ensure that the FBI would have somebody to arrest after hatching its complex bogus terror plot over a period of several months. His handlers told him “al-Qaeda” would stop helping him if he went home, court documents show.
As soon as news of the arrest was publicly announced, commentators across the Internet slammed and ridiculed the FBI and the federal government for continuing to prod dupes into carrying out bogus attacks. Perhaps anticipating that critics would cry foul at yet another “foiled” government-orchestrated “terror” plot, federal officials said they had to proceed with the setup to ensure that Nafis would not go plot an attack on his own.
“We have an obligation to take action to protect the public when an individual expresses a desire to commit violence and recruits others for an attack,” Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd was quoted as saying. “Allowing such individuals to proceed without a government response is not an option, given that they may take action on their own or find others willing to assist them.”
Indeed, if the criminal complaint is to be believed, it is true that Nafis was anything but an upstanding citizen. After the FBI convinced him that he was a member of “al-Qaeda” and that his government handler was working with “al-Qaeda leadership,” for example, the would-be terrorist said he knew there would be innocent casualties, including women and children. Still, he told his handlers he was ready to proceed.
Nafis also purportedly hoped the plot he hatched with the FBI would disrupt the upcoming presidential election. According to the criminal complaint, he was apparently an admirer of former CIA asset Osama bin Laden, too.
The dupe was arrested after using a cellphone to try to detonate the fake bomb the FBI gave him. He was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaeda. If convicted, he could face life in prison.
Last year, federal authorities hatched a similar half-baked plot, using a convicted felon to deceive a group of young self-styled left-wing anarchists into trying to blow up a bridge near Cleveland. A separate case in 2009 in which a government informer convinced dupes to plant fake bombs in New York even drew criticism from the judge who oversaw the case, who said: “The government made them terrorists.”
Government-hatched terror attacks, despite generating a lot of headlines, paranoia, and budget increases for the terror war, have still come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. “Without the F.B.I., would the culprits commit violence on their own? Is cultivating potential terrorists the best use of the manpower designed to find the real ones?” wondered author David Shipler in a piece for the New York Times earlier this year about the absurdity of manufacturing terror plots to stop terror.
Analysts speculated that the most recent bogus “terror” scheme would be seized upon by the privately owned Federal Reserve banking cartel to portray itself as a potential target. The fake attack might also pave the way to helping paint the Fed’s growing number of vocal critics as potentially dangerous — at least if the FBI can find them, radicalize them, and give them money and fake explosives.
While the FBI was busy convincing Nafis that he was a member of “al-Qaeda,” a terror group largely created and funded by the U.S. government decades ago, the Obama administration and Western powers were providing arms and money to real self-styled al-Qaeda fighters waging “jihad” in Syria. Before that, known al-Qaeda leaders were benefiting from overwhelming support from the Obama administration in the fight to oust Libya’s former despot, Moammar Gadhafi.
Whether Nafis would have been able or even willing to carry out any real attack without months of prodding by authorities will remain a mystery — he can be convicted based on current U.S. law regardless. What has become clear, though, is that the vast majority of “attacks” supposedly “foiled” over the last decade would never have made it into even the planning stages without government assistance.
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Photo of Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, held by his father: AP Images