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Friday, 16 January 2015

Whose Plot in Ohio? A "Home Grown Terrorist" or Just Another FBI-Created "Illusionary" Threat?

Common Dreams

Christopher Cornell, arrested in Cincinnati on Wednesday on terrorism charges after he bought two M-15 semi-automatic rifles and about 600 rounds of ammunition, had been engaged by an FBI informant who appears central to fomenting the plot. That person, in return for the effort, was promised "favorable treatment with respect to his criminal exposure on an unrelated case." (Photo: Public domain)

The parents of Christopher Lee Cornell, who was arrested in Ohio on Wednesday for alleged threats to attack the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., say it is clear from their vantage point that the FBI used an informant and money to encourage their son to do things he would never, and could never, have done on his own.

Arrested by the FBI after purchasing two high-powered assault rifles and ammunition at a local gunstore near Cincinnati, various news outlets have reported the case of Cornwell as a typical in terms of its relation to other so-called examples of "home-grown terrorism."  The Christian Science Monitor reported some of the specifics of the case as follows:
Gun store employees had been instructed by FBI agents to sell Mr. Cornell the guns and ammo. The young man, who paid $1,900 in cash, was described by employees as shy but talkative. As soon as Cornell walked to the parking lot, agents tackled and arrested him. Included as part of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) making the arrest were state and local law enforcement agencies as well as US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and the US Secret Service.
Cornell became known to the FBI last summer when he began voicing support for the Islamic State (also known as ISIS and ISIL) in the form of statements, videos, and other content posted to his Twitter accounts. “Defendant Christopher Cornell also voiced his support for violent jihad, as well as support for violent attacks committed by others in North America and elsewhere,” according to the criminal complaint filed Wednesday with US Magistrate Judge Stephanie Bowman.
The FBI soon enlisted an undercover informant in return for what the complaint says was "favorable treatment with respect to his criminal exposure on an unrelated case." The informant made contact with Cornell via Twitter, then the two began communicating through another instant messaging service.
In its languge, CSM described it as "a textbook case of a lone wolf terrorist inspired by Al Qaeda and the Islamic State."

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