Thursday, October 18, 2012

Federal Entrapment: How the FBI Prevents Crimes That Were Never Going to be Committed

Nafis Terror Suspect
This guy is probably going to prison for a long time.

Great News Everyone. The FBI continues manufacturing crimes to solve

CNN reports on the case of Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, a 21 year old Bangladeshi man arrested after trying to detonate a bomb at the New York Federal Reserve. Though there is not much detail about the plot, it appears to have unfolded as follows:

  • Nafis contacted or was contacted by an FBI informant who encouraged him to consider become a terrorist.
  • The informant pitched him the idea to blow something up.
  • Nafis did not know of anything to blow up so the informant gave him some proposed targets like President Obama, and the Federal Reserve Building.
  • Nafis did not have the means to accomplish this attack so the FBI purchased him some "explosives." (They were fake explosives).
  • Nafis did not know what to do with the "explosives" so they helped him to assemble them into a "bomb." (It was a fake bomb).
  • It is unclear but I suspect that Nafis did not have a vehicle to transport the "bomb" so the FBI probably rented him one. (They get a great discount at Hertz by now).
  • Oh, and the FBI then solved the crime by arresting the guy as he tried to detonate the bomb using a cell phone they gave him.

There is some irony then in the CNN report that:

"His arrest came as a result of the "culmination of an undercover operation" after he was being monitored by NYPD detectives and the FBI New York Field Office's Joint Terrorism Task Force".

Considering that, the "undercover operation" was to conceive of, plan, fund, and physically assemble every aspect of the criminal enterprise they now claim to have foiled, I think they should be pretty proud of themselves.

But they caught a terrorist, isn't that a good thing?

Abso-fracking-lutely, super job. In the model of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Let me propose a new Drunk Driving Prevention Program:

  • First, undercover police could give away free beer to thirsty people who don't have a license.
  • Then buy them a car and give a quick lesson on how to drive it.
  • Now, give them some cash and ask them to run down to the store for more beer. 
  • Once they turn the key, arrest them for operating under the influence. 

Now that'll do about as much to keep our streets safe as the FBI has done to keep us safe from terrorism.


  1. Personally, I can live with it. If someone has an inkling to blow us up, let's at least identify who they are even if the arrest goes bad.

  2. I hear you Ron and thanks for the comment. I understand where you are coming from and agree that we should be aggressive in identifying and neutralizing potential threats. The problem is that somewhere, law enforcement crosses a line and creates a crime where none would have otherwise existed. Maybe this guy would have found a way to do something dangerous regardless of police action. If he had, he would have been arrested, now we will never know.