LA terror plot stopped in LA

Per CNN, a man has been arrested on suspicion of planning multiple terrorist attacks across LA.

It appears that he was stopped before he could his plans into action.

I have no doubt this guy is probably a horrible person and quite possibly dangerous, but this feels a lot like another “FBI finds somebody spouting off online and goads them until they decide to buy a fake IED.”

So glad I don’t work for the FBI, they just can’t win. Either they haul someone in before a crime actually committed and get accused of entrapment or goading someone on, and if they don’t catch the person, like the Chabad Poway guy who was also on line, until after someone is killed they aren’t doing their jobs.

I am with you **Broomstick.

Would you rather he was goaded into it by real terrorists?

Of course not, what a silly insinuation.

And I’m glad he’s off the streets, because he’s probably unstable in plenty ways even if he never could have pulled off a terror plot on his own.

My only gripe is that it’s presented as “A TERROR PLOT 2 MONTHS IN THE MAKING WAS FOILED BY THE FBI!!”, because most of the time that’s not what happened. What happened was exactly what I said: the FBI found a really angry guy spouting off online. They used The Force to make him feel like he could pull off a plot, they made the plot possible, then when he thought he was going to complete the plot, they give him a fake IED and say “Neener-neener.”

How, exactly, do you expect the FBI to locate potential terrorists and restrain them BEFORE they kill people without doing what you object to?

Seriously - if you’re not a terrorist and have no desire to be a terrorist how hard is it to say “No, I don’t want to blow people up?”

If the FBI can “goad you” into buying a device meant to kill lots of people with the intent to use it, you’re exactly the sort of person they should be arresting. That’s actually their job. Normal people can’t be “goaded” into mass murder.

If you can be “goaded” into committing mass murder, and I goad you into trying to do so with a fake bomb, and supply you with a bunch of cops as fake victims, then you are the person I want law enforcement to dupe into it. Waiting for you to get it right seems ineffective.


Bone stupid isn’t really much of a defense for attempted mass murder.

He sought to donate an improvised explosive device at a white supremacist really, did he? Do journalists not learn basic grammar?

As for the goading, the FBI do rurality do that, and they normally target the mentally subnormal, people you could get to do anything.

How is this any different from the armed forces “goading” you into dropping bombs on civilian cities or using drones to slaughter wedding guests? People of all stripes are easily coerced into violence if you supply the right messaging.

There are probably some people who would never be willing to use violence, some people who would leap at the opportunity, and a large majority of others who could be convinced one way or the other given sufficient persuasion/indoctrination. Who’s to say the FBI couldn’t have turned him away from violent jihad and violence for the rest of his life if they tried that instead? Do you believe it is innately impossible to rehabilitate violent people? Is it a matter of who they’re fighting for, who they’re killing, how many they’re willing to kill, the method of the killing…? :confused:

You know, it could be argued that if he had succeeded, he’d be doing the FBI’s ACTUAL job for them. Per NYT:

The FBI’s inaction on white supremacy is killing Americans left and right. He might very well have saved more lives overall if he killed the right Nazis.

It’s not the FBI’s job to “lure” people away from a life of crime and lead them into the promised land of goodness. It’s the FBI’s job to capture criminals. Except now we expect them to catch criminals before they offend with mass murder then accuse them of being meanies when they catch someone plotting to murder who hasn’t pulled the trigger (or detonated the bomb) yet.

And blowing up wannabe-Nazis is not the way to go about dealing with wannabe-Nazis. If we take that approach we’ll get the same sorts of collateral damage as we see with drone attacks. Aside from the fact that, again, the FBI’s job is to catch criminals, not act as judge, jury, and executioner.

It’s also not the FBI’s job to convert angry extremists into actual would-be terrorists by egging them on and providing a pathway to mass violence where there otherwise might not have been.

This is a false dichotomy, unless you’re suggesting that certain individuals are just born as predestined terrorists and it’s just a crapshoot whether the FBI gets to them first or ISIS.

The FBI no doubt foils legitimate terror plots. They also fail sometimes. And in the gray area in between, there are some people who might not have become terrorists if the FBI didn’t entrap them.

This isn’t a hypothetical. It happens againand again and again and again and again.

I’m no anarchist. I’m grateful there are men and women risking their lives in law enforcement. But this is one very dubious tactic that they do use. One can criticize the FBI’s methods without condemning them entirely as an institution.

And indeed, isn’t it telling how many Americans are fine with collateral drone attacks – they’re only Muslims after all – but would jump to defend the lives of literal Nazis on American soil?

“Catch” isn’t the same verb as “create”. It is not their job to turn thought crimes into real crimes by manipulating people in vulnerable states of mind.

You’ve been doing fine work while I was sleeping. :cool:

Wait! Stop right there! :dubious:

We’ve seen too many cases where people displayed “angry extremist” online personas and went on to commit violent/terrorist acts, without being “egged on” by anything other than their own hatred.

Shouting “entrapment” when these people are caught is about as convincing as when the “victims” are politicians who take bribes in federal sting operations. Surely they were honest as the day is long, before the feds duped them into accepting the money. :dubious:

While I have no doubt that law enforcement oversteps the rules at times, I get tired of the kneejerk reactions that when someone is arrested for planning to commit mass murder they must have been “entrapped” and are somehow victims of people forcing them to plan horrific crimes.

As noted, plenty of nutballs slip through the net as it is, clearly the FBI is doing a poor job of manufacturing criminals if there are so many more terrorist attacks than entrapped victims of the FBI.

I don’t think people are born or predestined to be terrorists, but I do think there’s a pool of potential terrorists out there (it’s pretty obvious there is such a group, given the sorts of attacks seen world wide for a few decades now). Out of that pool of existing proto-terrorists yes, it IS a bit of a crapshoot who gets their hooks into them first. But don’t limit yourself to just ISIS or the FBI - plenty of Christian white-boy terrorists out there like the Mandalay Bay shooter or the Chabad of Poway shooter - except apologists for white bigotry use every euphemism and excuse in the book to make the claim they’re somehow different than Muslim or whatever other flavor of terrorist you care to name. They’re “mentally ill” or “lone wolf” - anything but, you know, white/Christian terrorists.

Again - how hard is it to tell people “no, I don’t want to blow up a crowd of people”?

We do have a problem these days with folks with nasty inclinations falling into an echo chamber and, as the media likes to report, “radicalizing”. What do you think the likes of ISIS are doing, other than “entrapment” - luring people in and leading them down the path to murder?

If you leave a stack of money on a counter in a public area is that entrapment? Gee, I know better than to try to take money that isn’t mine, and so are most people. Likewise, most people know murder is wrong and mileage. If the temptation isn’t a temptation for 90% of the public then I don’t see it as entrapment.

I can also question your criticism without condemning it as entirely unfounded.

Corruption and abuse in law enforcement are real things, but not everyone arrested is innocent, even if the system has to treat them as such prior to trial and judgement.

Yes, I think that’s terrible. By the way, I’m not one of them - wannabe-Nazis are just a step away from terrorists and murderers by my viewpoint. Some of them cross the line into actual acts of terror and wish that our society would recognize American white born-and-bred terrorists as readily as they recognize terrorists of other colors.

You know the reason they have to string these guys along until they actually start purchasing bomb parts or accept delivery of a fake IED? Because we don’t punish thoughtcrime. You can talk all you want about killing people, but until you take some sort of action beyond hitting the “enter” key to post on your blog nothing there is illegal (in the US - some places do punish toughtcrime and words alone).

If the current whacko arrested just wanted to talk smack he would not have been arrested. He was arrested for taking *actions *that would lead to killing people. Again, the notion that killing people is wrong is something most of us get early on. Hell, the military has to train people to get over their inhibitions about killing people and even then it doesn’t always take.

Too much goading…

So you think the government should test every angry ranter on the internet and provide them preemptively with fake explosives just to make sure they’re not a potential future terrorist? Is that really the best way to identify terrorists? We’d save way more lives by stinging corrupt politicians refusing to fix broken policies.

What exactly are you arguing here, that entrapment as a legal issue doesn’t exist at all, that the FBI overall uses entrapment only on the most deserving, that this particular instance was not entrapment, or that we should have blind faith in the FBI and give them broad leeway to do their jobs?

So they fail to catch the actual terrorists, manufacture their own to save face, and as a nation we should now feel safer? They’re going after the low hanging fruit, the dumbest and most vulnerable potential recruits. How is this different from planting guns in gang neighborhoods and seeing who starts shooting? There are plenty of people with ill motives but not the means to enact them, thankfully; why should the FBI provide that means?


Rather than reenacting the tactics of ISIS to use as security theater, I’d rather we spent our budget on creating social conditions less hospitable to extremism to begin with, addressing extreme inequality, racism, and Zionism – factors leading to radical violent Islamism or Naziism – rather than fighting the symptoms of our broken society one IED, real or planted, at a time. Law enforcement isn’t an island devoid of societal and geopolitical context.

That isn’t really entrapment. Entrapment would be more like finding a poor person desperate for money, planting the money, then actively encouraging them to steal it.

Is it a matter of scale? Do you think law enforcement is less deadly to Americans than criminals? Corruption isn’t just real but rampant, and the checks against law enforcement executions are minimal for all but wealthy whites. More police than FBI, but still the suspicion, absent transparent oversight, is warranted.

The point was that this individual, and others like him, may never have done anything if he were not encouraged into it, or if our foreign policy didn’t tacitly endorse Muslim genocide. I guess now we’ll never know.