Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Most people prosecuted for terrorism since 2001 haven’t committed a violent act (theintercept.com)
94 points by Argentum01 on Apr 21, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 18 comments



It'd be interesting to see breakdowns by race/religion (Muslims in mosques vs NRA gun collectors who are in local militias).

There have been cases where mosques have contacted the FBI to inform them of people they found disturbing (trying to recruit people) only to discover later those people were FBI agents sent to root out extremists.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/fbi-plant-b...

If one of these people, released from prison in exchange for this work, feels pressured to convert/indoctrinate a person who would normally not give a damn about any type of revolution, how is that not entrapment?

Other disturbing trends: some people are arrested for giving money to a mosque in some far of region they grew up in. If you gave money to a church or a lobby origination that ends up doing highly illegal stuff, are you now liable?

The greater speech issue: if Americans start to gather and think America should be split or states should succeed (won't happen today; there's less then 3% support even in places like Texas/Cascades--but in the future?), even if they work on peaceful means, could this be marked at terrorism? What if peaceful organizations for revolution have a few violent members? Will the leaders of peaceful originations be arrested for giving monetary support to members of a militia who do something violent?


>There have been cases where mosques have contacted the FBI to inform them of people they found disturbing (trying to recruit people) only to discover later those people were FBI agents sent to root out extremists.

Just to add to what you said - that's not at all exclusive to the FBI or the USA. Up here in Canada, the RCMP spent huge amounts of money trying to catch two "terrorists" that they basically created. These two people lacked the means and motive to carry out any kind of attack, but our federal police service wasn't deterred. A team of 240 officers worked to groom them and provide them with fake explosives. They found two naive, isolated drug addicts, then isolated them even further and tried to plant extremist ideology into their heads. Even then, at several points, they asked their undercover handler for any kind of moral justification for why they SHOULD NOT go through with the attack, and the undercover officer did the exact opposite. In the end, they still wanted to back out but were afraid that the undercover officer would kill them in retaliation.

Their case was so egregious that our Supreme Court overturned the conviction on the grounds that if the RCMP had done nothing, the two wouldn't have done anything worthy of criminal charges. To make matters even worse, the RCMP billed for almost a million dollars worth of overtime alone manufacturing a fake terrorist plot.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/terror-plotters-claim-they-were-gro...


>What if peaceful organizations for revolution have a few violent members?

It doesn't matter if they have no violent members. The secret police will provide enough to disrupt the movement. The secret police exist to protect the interests of the state. They protect the interests of the people living within it only insofar as those interests are aligned.


>if Americans start to gather and think America should be split or states should succeed (won't happen today; there's less then 3% support even in places like Texas/Cascades--but in the future?)

I dunno, In any given state there's probably more than 3% for certain other states seceding. The candidate I hear throws around a lot is pretty represented here and I'm not so sure it would be a bad thing.


FBI infiltrates and places provocateurs in "militias" also. Hoodwinking dopes into plotting crime seems to be anti-terror SOP, I guess it keeps your courageous and necessary defense of the public in the press.


Strange, the title renders like this for me in two browsers:

> "FBI plant banned by mosque – because he was too extreme"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fxx1KdGXti0

^ I was listening to this earlier and I can't help but point out the creeping government overreach in all aspects of our lives. We drop bombs at the drop of a hat, and send people to prison for thought crimes.

I really hope everyone can see that we must roll back the powers of the federal government, or it is going to roll over us.


My problem with this is that people get a perception that just rolling back the powers of the federal government is good in general and also that it would be easy. This is not necessarily the case, but it allows groups that would benefit from a weaker federal government to prosper (sometimes at the expense of the people) because one part of the federal government is getting to powerful or is not transparent enough. This allows for a divide and conquer approach in areas like the environment, discrimination, labor rights etc.

The federal government isn't simply going to give up authority, and if it does it will likely be to the economic benefit of the organizations that lobbied for it in the first place (EPA cuts for example). If you want change, simply grumbling about the federal government is not going to help. It will take concerted effort to push candidates in one of the parties to take these issues seriously and to get elected on them.


Absolutely. Trump took over at the helm of a government with unprecedented surveillance capacity, highly militarized police, secret court systems, the ability to indefinitely detain and kill its own citizens without trial, and every precedent to engage in congressionally unauthorized warfare all over the world and sell weapons to the most brutal regimes imaginable.

Not to mention a web of military contractors, weapons manufacturers, intelligence agencies, and armed forces that often operate above the law and outside the control of the government itself. The US government has been captured by people in the business of war and 'defense'. Don't expect the feeble US media to mention that though, even the liberals prefer to wax poetic about blowing things up in destitute third world countries:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4n3SI81m9w


> I really hope everyone can see that we must roll back the powers of the federal government, or it is going to roll over us.

Local and state law-enforcement agencies absolutely do this sort of thing (and pretty much every other horrid thing that federal LE does) as well -- not just federal law enforcement.


this is all levels of government, not just federal.


I didn't read the article yet but I would think "conspiring" to commit terrorism would be much more common than carrying it out.


Not only that but it seems like most of those who successfully carry out an act of terrorism end up dead anyway, either self inflicted or by LEO so obviously they wont be convicted.


Survivorship bias at its finest.


Yes its not like you need to wait until they kill some one


OP here. For those interested, the journalists who compiled all this data also wrote extensively about their findings: https://theintercept.com/series/trial-and-terror/


Good prevention work then. If a person is already in a state where undercover FBI agents are able to set him up with a sting operation, then he could've just as easily been involved in the real thing if they didn't do their job.


This is a specific case of a general problem with how violations of law are investigated and prosecuted in this country that happens to be made worse by the fact that in this case it involves federal officers and many people who are not native to the US (and aren't as familiar with their rights).

How "terrorism" cases are prosecuted is not the problem here. How cases in general are prosecuted is the problem.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: