August 12, 2014. Newburgh, NY. (ONN) Criticism and evidence continue to mount regarding the US government’s War on Terror and the questionable tactics authorities have taken to stop terror attacks before they happen. Investigators insist that between 50 and 97 percent of all thwarted terror plots on US soil since September 11, 2001 have been cases of entrapment. In some instances, agents carried out every single aspect of the plot. In at least one case, they even let a deadly attack occur.
Demonstrators protest the entrapment and conviction of the Newburgh 4. Image courtesy of ProjectSalam.org.
The Newburgh 4
Tomorrow, HBO will air a documentary titled, ‘The Newburgh Sting’. The movie details the story of four black American men who were recruited by the FBI to carry out terror attacks around New York City. The problem was that these men were homeless, crack addicts, mentally ill, or all of the above. Possibly showing the Bureau’s true motivation, the agents targeted Newburgh, NY - a town riddled with poverty and homelessness, and plagued by drug addiction and desperation.
Reminiscent of the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the terror plots the Newburgh 4 were convicted of just happened to be dreamed up by the FBI itself. The plan, the money, the intelligence, the vehicles, the bombs, the motivation, the timing, the terrorists, and every other aspect of both of the unrelated terror plots were created and supplied by federal agents. In the case of the first World Trade Center bombing, the Bureau inexplicably let its own terror attack occur.
The Guardian in the UK described the Newburgh 4 case writing, ‘Prosecutors painted them as America-hating terrorists bent on slaughter. All four followed the instructions of Hussain, who meticulously organized the scheme: from getting the missile and bombs, to reconnaissance missions, to teaching the tenets of radical Islam. The Newburgh Four now languish in jail. Hussain does not. For Hussain was a fake. In fact, Hussain worked for the FBI as an informant trawling mosques in hope of picking up radicals.’
The report details how the FBI took four impoverished men, with varying degrees of mental issues and drug problems, and offered each of them $250,000 in cash, expensive cars and free luxury vacations in exchange for going to work for them. They thought they were going to be working for a Pakistani Muslim to spread the word of Islam. But they were really working for the FBI. Court records later showed that Shahed Hussain was a professional FBI informant and infiltrator. The Bureau paid him $66,000 to seek out domestic terrorists. Instead of finding terrorists however, Hussain went to skid row and created some.
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The Guardian account describes the town of Newburgh saying, ‘Side streets are full of houses falling apart, boarded up, or burnt out. Even at 9am drug dealers openly ply their trade. It is this poverty-drenched environment in which Hussain met James Cromitie, a loudmouth Walmart worker who claimed to deal drugs and stolen goods. Exactly why Hussain picked Newburgh is not clear.’
The US judge who convicted the Newburgh 4 summed up the facts of the case and the FBI’s tactics. Judge Colleen McMahon said, “Only the government could have made a terrorist out of Mr. Cromitie, a man whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in its scope…I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that there would have been no crime here except the government instigated it, planned it and brought it to fruition.”
94% of US terrorism convictions are entrapment
That was the accusation made two months ago when two civil liberties organizations released the findings of their own study on terror convictions inside the US since 9/11. As reported by WAMC Public Radio, the report was co-authored by Attorney Kathy Manley of the New York Civil Liberties Union. The civil rights groups found that as many as 94% of US terror convictions were trumped up or completely unwarranted.
Manley explained, “74 percent of the cases that they call terrorist were what we call pure preemptive prosecution cases. Another 87 of them, or 20 percent, were what we call elements of preemptive prosecution, where there's some real crime going on, often a fraud crime or something like that. And the government was suspicious of the people so they called it a terrorist case or they added terrorist-related charges that didn't really fit.”
The report’s authors mention another surprising and little-known fact regarding convictions of US terrorists since September 11, 2001. The investigators discovered that out of the 399 terror convictions US authorities have garnered during the time examined, only 4 involved terror plots where federal agents or their paid informants WEREN’T at the center of the scheme.
Illusion of Justice
Another recent scathing report of the federal government’s tactics regarding the targeting and prosecution of future domestic terrorists comes from Columbia Law School and Human Rights Watch. Their investigators looked at the nearly 500 US terror convictions since 9/11. They also examined every aspect of dozens of specific cases, from the launch of the initial investigation, through the trial and conviction, and even the defendants’ treatment in prison.
Deputy Washington Director of Human Rights Watch, Andrea Prasow, explained the groups’ findings, “Americans have been told that their government is keeping them safe by preventing and prosecuting terrorism inside the US. But take a closer look and you realize that many of these people would never have committed a crime if not for law enforcement encouraging, pressuring, and sometimes paying them to commit terrorist acts.”
The announcement from Human Right Watch criticized federal officials writing, ‘The FBI often targeted particularly vulnerable people, including those with intellectual and mental disabilities and the indigent. The government, often acting through informants, then actively developed the plot, persuading and sometimes pressuring the targets to participate, and provided the resources to carry it out.’
Prasow went on to say, “The bar on entrapment in US law is so high that it’s almost impossible for a terrorism suspect to prove. Add that to law enforcement preying on the particularly vulnerable, such as those with mental or intellectual disabilities, and the very poor, and you have a recipe for rampant human rights abuses.”
The full 214-page report is available from Human Rights Watch.
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