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The FBI Busts Up Another of its Own Terrorist Plots and Politicians Rush to Blame the First Amendment

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Like other recent sensational “terror plots,” however, the criminal complaint unsealed yesterday demonstrates the key role of an undercover law enforcement informant in both formulating and facilitating the alleged plot. It doesn’t appear that Velentzas or Siddiqui actually planned or attempted to bomb any target, nor is there any evidence of discussions about how to create a bomb before the introduction of the informant into their lives.

 

While Velentzas appeared to have latent sympathy with the Islamic State, contrary to sensational media reports she is not alleged in the criminal complaint to have had any contact with the group.

 

Their discussions allegedly progressed, with the informant and Velentzas meeting to talk in greater detail about how to create a bomb, using information gleaned from The Anarchist Cookbook, and discussing whether it would be appropriate to target a gathering of police officers with such a device. At several points in the complaint, Velentzas indicates her reticence about doing anything that might harm “regular people,” even criticizing the Boston Marathon bombers for killing and injuring civilians. During this time, the informant also provided both Velentzas and Siddiqui with printed copies of Inspire, including selected passages about how to create explosives.

– From the Intercept article: Informant Provided Bomb-Making Manual to Alleged “ISIS-Inspired” Plotters

What does a government wanting its population to remain in fear so as to justify a total surveillance state, and a military-intelligence industrial complex hooked on billions in wasteful corporate welfare do in the absence of genuine terrorist plots? Create artificial plots, naturally.

This disturbing trend has been covered here at Liberty Blitzkrieg and elsewhere in recent years. Read the following articles for a couple of recent examples:

Manufactured Terrorism – U.S. Officials Claim Credit for Stopping Another Terror Attack Created by the FBI

FBI Moves to Broaden Hacking Authority – Google Says it Poses “Monumental Constitutional Concern”

Moving along, yesterday it was announced that the Feds had broken up an “ISIS inspired plot” involving two New York women, Noelle Velentzas and Asia Siddiqui. While these ladies certainly appear deranged, what is also clear is that they are incredibly incapable. There seems very little chance that they could ever inflict serious damage to American society without assistance and encouragement from the FBI, which is exactly what the agency provided them.

We learn from the Intercept that:

In what has been widely described in the media as the breakup of an “ISIS-inspired” plot, on April 2 the Department of Justice announced that Noelle Velentzas, 28, and Asia Siddiqui, 31, both of New York, had been arrested and charged with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. The defendants “plotted to wreak terror by creating explosive devices” for use in New York City and sought “bomb-making instructions and materials” for an attack, the Justice Department statement said.

 

Like other recent sensational “terror plots,” however, the criminal complaint unsealed yesterday demonstrates the key role of an undercover law enforcement informant in both formulating and facilitating the alleged plot. It doesn’t appear that Velentzas or Siddiqui actually planned or attempted to bomb any target, nor is there any evidence of discussions about how to create a bomb before the introduction of the informant into their lives.

 

It was only after the informant provided the pair with a copy of The Anarchist Cookbook – a manual with instructions on how to create an explosive device — that their amateurish efforts gained any traction.

While Velentzas appeared to have latent sympathy with the Islamic State, contrary to sensational media reports she is not alleged in the criminal complaint to have had any contact with the group.

 

Over the following weeks, the informant repeatedly met with both defendants, even watching jihadist recruitment videos with them. On November 23, 2014, the informant brought a printed copy of The Anarchist Cookbook for Velentzas, even bookmarking the page containing bomb-making instructions.

 

At this point, according to the complaint, the informant and Velentzas had a discussion about “what they’re trying to achieve” with all the research about bombs. Velentzas then told the informant that she didn’t have any existing plans to do anything, and that “she would never want to hurt anyone.”

 

Nonetheless, their discussions allegedly progressed, with the informant and Velentzas meeting to talk in greater detail about how to create a bomb, using information gleaned from The Anarchist Cookbook, and discussing whether it would be appropriate to target a gathering of police officers with such a device. At several points in the complaint, Velentzas indicates her reticence about doing anything that might harm “regular people,” even criticizing the Boston Marathon bombers for killing and injuring civilians. During this time, the informant also provided both

 

Velentzas and Siddiqui with printed copies of Inspire, including selected passages about how to create explosives.

 

Around February 22, after months of discussion and cultivation, the informant and Velentzas went to Siddiqui’s residence, where they saw four propane gas tanks. Siddiqui said, “I got everything up in this joint … once we learn … I got everything up in this joint.”

 

There were no further recorded meetings between members of the group. On April 2, both Siddiqui and Velentzas were arrested and charged with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, ostensibly utilizing the propane tanks seen in Siddiqui’s apartment in February.

There are several pretty incredible angles to this story. First of all, these “terrorists” had to be informed about the Anarchist Cookbook by an FBI informant. This is remarkable considering every kid in my junior high school knew all about this book when I was growing up. That’s a clear indication that this “ISIS inspired cell” was completely clueless and nowhere close to being ready to pull off any sort of attack without the FBI’s help.

Even worse, Dianne Feinstein is now calling for tossing aside the Constitution in order to ban this book, which the FBI had to inform the so-called terrorists about in the first place. You really can’t make this level of stupidity up. TechDirt covered this angle well:

Still, politicians never leave an opportunity like this unexploited, and so in jumps Senator Dianne Feinstein, arguing that the only proper way to deal with this is to, of course… censor the internet:

 

I am particularly struck that the alleged bombers made use of online bombmaking guides like the Anarchist Cookbook and Inspire Magazine. These documents are not, in my view, protected by the First Amendment and should be removed from the Internet.

 

For what it’s worth, Dianne Feinstein’s “view” is wrong. The Anarchist Cookbook is very much protected by the First Amendment. While the book is banned in other countries, who don’t have the equivalent of the First Amendment, it’s perfectly legal in the US. The FBI/DOJ has extensively investigated the Anarchist’s Cookbook in particular over the years, and as far back as 1997 directly told Senator Feinstein that she could not ban it. This is from the DOJ back in 1997:

 

Senator Feinstein introduced legislation during the last Congress in an attempt to fill this gap. The Department of Justice agrees that it would be appropriate and beneficial to adopt further legislation to address this problem directly, if that can be accomplished in a manner that does not impermissibly restrict the wholly legitimate publication and teaching of such information, or otherwise violate the First Amendment.

 

The First Amendment would impose substantial constraints on any attempt to proscribe indiscriminately the dissemination of bombmaking information. The government generally may not, except in rare circumstances, punish persons either for advocating lawless action or for disseminating truthful information — including information that would be dangerous if used — that such persons have obtained lawfully.

 

The complaint also lists many other books and magazines and web pages that the various people read throughout, and later has one of the wannabe terrorists thanking the undercover agent for introducing The Anarchist’s Cookbook to her.

 

As for the other document that Feinstein wants to censor, Inspire, is Al Qaeda’s magazine. And, again, reading through the complaint you see that it was actually the undercover agent who brought the magazine. The wannabe terrorist did ask the undercover agent to get it, and eventually it was the undercover agent who actually got it. Velentzas keeps asking the undercover agent to find a copy of Inspire, over and over again in the complaint until eventually the agent complies:

 

On or about December 24, 2014, the UC visited VELENTZAS and brought the Spring 2014 issue of Inspire magazine, as previously requested by VELENTZAS.

 

In other words, in neither case did the would be terrorists get the “bad” material from the internet. In both cases it came from the undercover FBI agent.

Yet Senator Feinstein wants to pretend they discovered the information on the internet, so that she can advocate censoring the internet. As politicians know all too well, you never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Particularly if the story can be used to further advance authoritarianism.

Stay scared ‘Merica. The government and intelligence industrial complex is here to help.

For related articles, see:

Manufactured Terrorism – U.S. Officials Claim Credit for Stopping Another Terror Attack Created by the FBI

FBI Moves to Broaden Hacking Authority – Google Says it Poses “Monumental Constitutional Concern”

FBI Documents Show Plot to Kill Occupy Leaders If “Deemed Necessary” – Yet Details Are Kept From the Public…Why?

The Full Letter Written by the FBI to Martin Luther King Has Been Revealed