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Thursday, 9 June 2016

Terror and injustice: FBI planning to increase its policy of radicalization, entrapment, and plotting terror


Sending someone undercover was once a last resort for the FBI - despite popular law dramas where it seems to happen every few weeks. But the FBI's use of undercover agents in the fight against Islamic State has some questioning its legality.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has significantly increased its use of agents and informants in terrorism cases according to a report from the New York Times. In fact, the FBI uses it so intensively that it is used in about two out of three prosecutions related to suspects believed to be supporting the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

When agents and informants go undercover, they pose as anything from weapons and arms dealers to jihadists or just friends on social media. However, defense lawyers, civil right activists and Muslim leaders have all compared the tactics used by the FBI to entrapment.

"They're manufacturing terrorism cases," Michael German, a former undercover agent with the FBI and national security law researcher at New York University's Brennan Center for Justice, told the New York Times, adding: "These people are five steps away from being a danger to the United States."

For example, Emanuel Lutchman of Rochester, New York, was arrested in relation to a plot to abduct and kill the patrons at a Rochester bar on New Year's Eve. His grandmother, Beverley Carridice-Henry, told the Democrat and Chronicle that Lutchman had suffered from mental illness and was sent to prison when he was 16 years old. While there, he converted to Islam to gain protection after another inmate attempted to rape him.

Carridice-Henry told the Democrat and Chronicle that he had been hospitalized at least three times for suicide attempts and that his difficulties with mental health made him vulnerable to coercion, saying: "I'm not going to say he's a saint, but the thing about him is, he'd meet somebody and they were automatically his friend," adding, "And I told him, 'Not everyone you meet is your friend.' But to him they were."

She explained her frustration with the sting operation involving her allegedly homeless grandson, saying: "They sent this guy to befriend him and set him up in a sting. How is that right? For the federal government to set up youths that they know are vulnerable?... He didn't have money to buy Pampers for his son. How would he find money to go buy these [weapons]?"  

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