FBI Blows It: Supposed Terror Plot Against NY Synagogues Is Bogus
By Robert Dreyfuss,
May 23, 2009.
Turns out it is really the handiwork of a creepy FBI
informant. The story strengthens the narrative that the
"homeland" is under attack. It's not.
By the now, it's maddeningly familiar. A scary
terrorist plot is announced. Then it's revealed that
the suspects are a hapless bunch of ne'er-do-wells or
run-of-the-mill thugs without the slightest connection
to any terrorists at all, never mind to Al Qaeda.
Finally, the last piece of the puzzle: the entire plot
is revealed to have been cooked up by a scummy
I've seen this movie before.
In this case, the alleged perps -- Onta Williams, James
Cromitie, David Williams, and Laguerre Payen -- were
losers, ex-cons, drug addicts. Al Qaeda they're not.
Without the assistance of the agent who entrapped them,
they would never have dreamed of committing political
violence, nor would they have had the slightest idea
about where to acquire plastic explosives or a Stinger
missile. That didn't stop prosecutors from acting as if
they'd captured Osama bin Laden himself. Noted the
Prosecutors called it the latest in a string of
homegrown terrorism plots hatched after Sept. 11.
"It's hard to envision a more chilling plot,"
Thursday. He described all four suspects as "eager
to bring death to Jews."
Actually, it's hard to imagine a stupider, less
competent, and less important plot. The four losers
were ensnared by a creepy FBI agent who hung around the
mosque in upstate
looking for. Here's the New York Times account:
Salahuddin Mustafa Muhammad, the imam at the mosque
where the authorities say the confidential
informant first encountered the men, said none of
the men were active in the mosque. ...
Mr. Cromitie was there last June, and he met a
He had no way of knowing that the stranger's path
to the mosque began in 2002, when he was arrested
on federal charges of identity theft. He was
sentenced to five years' probation, and became a
confidential informant for the F.B.I. He began
showing up at the mosque in
Mr. Muhammad said.
The stranger's behavior aroused the imam's
suspicions. He invited other worshipers to meals,
and spoke of violence and jihad, so the imam said
he steered clear of him.
"There was just something fishy about him," Mr.
Muhammad said. Members "believed he was a
Mr. Muhammad said members of his congregation told
him the man he believed was the informant offered
at least one of them a substantial amount of money
to join his "team."
So a creepy thug buttonholes people at a mosque,
foaming at the mouth about violence and jihad? This is
law enforcement? Just imagine if someone did this at a
local church, or some synagogue. And the imam says the
people "believed he was a government agent."
Preying on these losers, none of whom were apparently
actual Muslims, the "confidential informant"
orchestrated the acquisition of a disabled Stinger
missile to shoot down military planes and cooked up a
wild scheme about attacking a Jewish center in the
It gets even more pathetic:
The only one of the four suspects who appears to
have aroused any suspicion was Payen, a Haitian
native who attended the
imam Hamid Rashada said his dishevelment and odd
behavior disturbed some members, said the assistant
imam, Hamid Rashada.
When Payen appeared in court, defense attorney
Marilyn Reader described him as "intellectually
challenged" and on medication for schizophrenia.
The Associated Press said that when he was asked if
he understood the proceedings, Payen replied: "Sort of."
Despite the pompous statements from Mayor Bloomberg of
New York and other politicians, including
Representative Peter King, the whole story is bogus.
The four losers may have been inclined to violence, and
they may have harbored a virulent strain of anti-
Semitism. But it seems that the informant whipped up
their violent tendencies and their hatred of Jews,
cooked up the plot, incited them, arranged their
purchase of weapons, and then had them busted. To
ensure that it made headlines, the creepy informant
claimed to be representing a Pakistani extremist group,
Jaish-e Muhammad, a bona fide terrorist organization.
He wasn't, of course.
It is disgusting and outrageous that the FBI is sending
provocateurs into mosques.
The headlines reinforce the very fear that Dick Cheney
is trying to stir up. The story strengthens the
narrative that the "homeland" is under attack. It's
not. As I've written repeatedly, since 9/11 not a
single American has even been punched in the nose by an
angry Muslim, as far as I can tell. Plot after plot --
the destruction of the
Prudential building in