Article — From the August 2011 issue

To Catch a Terrorist

The FBI hunts for the enemy within

( 4 of 7 )

Informants have been deployed by law enforcement for centuries, but in these recent terrorism investigations they have been given a more active role in shaping cases, often encouraging or even coercing individuals to commit violent acts toward which the individuals have otherwise shown no predisposition. Such sting operations present a disturbing kind of theater: the government provides the script, the arms, the cash, and other props, and offers logistical support.

In at least one instance, in Chicago last year, the FBI instructed informants to pay a suspect so he could quit his day job and focus on jihad. In the case of Hemant Lakhani, a British businessman who was convicted in 2005 of providing material support to terrorists for brokering the sale of a surface-to-air missile, law enforcement ended up on both sides of the arms deal, as buyer and seller, after the informant discovered that Lakhani simply didn’t have the connections to procure the missile. The informant in that case, pivotal in shepherding Lakhani through the sale, had previously worked with the DEA, but after he incriminated an innocent man in the course of a drug sting, his handler had given him the equivalent of a “burn notice.” In the desperate post-9/11 environment, the FBI hired him anyway.

Other informants have had equally dubious qualifications. The informant in a 2007 plot to blow up jet fuel tanks at JFK Airport was a former New York drug kingpin who had conspired to murder a rival dealer and been busted with $2 million in cocaine. The Miami Seven, arrested in 2006 for plotting an attack on the Sears Tower in Chicago, had their plot concocted for them entirely by a pair of FBI informants, one of whom had a history of assault; the other sneaked tokes off-camera during the surveilled meetings. In 2004 an informant was deployed against a Yemeni sheikh in Brooklyn, but after becoming disgruntled when the FBI’s promises of riches never came to fruition, he set himself on fire in front of the White House in protest.

Informants in some cases have been so heavy-handed that they were dismissed by the people they targeted. At a California mosque last year an informant talked about jihad so aggressively that the mosque’s members took out a restraining order to have him barred from the premises. (The informant, Craig Monteilh, who was paid $177,000 for fifteen months of service, was later convicted of grand larceny in an unrelated incident and subsequently sued the FBI, alleging that the agency had revealed his informant status, leading to an attack by a fellow prisoner during his incarceration.)

The informants in these sting operations were deployed to supply not just opportunities for criminal acts but also the inflammatory rhetoric that would justify terrorism charges. In a supposed plot to attack the United States Army Base in Fort Dix, New Jersey, the FBI sent two informants to infiltrate a group of suspected terrorists after a nearby Circuit City reported a suspicious video the five men had brought in to be copied. (The tape showed footage of what the men later claimed was a vacation in the Poconos, where they can be seen riding horseback, snowmobiling, and firing guns at a rifle range, while shouting “Allahu Akbar.” The government would later claim that this was a training mission.)

During the fifteen-month sting operation that followed, one of the informants urged the suspects to join their Muslim brothers overseas. “Don’t you want to go and die with them, man?” he said. The other, Mahmoud Omar, an Egyptian who had agreed to work for the FBI after facing deportation for a bank-fraud conviction, initially suggested the plot to kill American soldiers at the army base. Omar told the men that if they appointed him as their leader he would be the “brain” of the operation. It was Omar who got them talking about the use of Molotov cocktails, grenade launchers, remote-controlled detonators, and roadside nail bombs. They also discussed purchasing a house near the base as a sniper station, but when the men failed to follow through with the plans, Omar grew frustrated. “You talk, but you don’t do nothing,” he told one of the suspects. The five men were arrested before they could devise a specific plan or set a date for the attack. Four of the defendants received life sentences, and the fifth was sentenced to thirty-three years in prison.

John Pikus, the agent who ran Albany’s branch during Aref and Hossain’s trial (and has since retired), told me that given the intelligence the agency had at the time, they believed Aref was “a bad person.” When I pressed him on whether he felt his informant had ultimately flushed out a terrorist, he hedged. “Well, you’re not going to get me to say he was absolutely guilty,” he told me. Still, Pikus insisted that the FBI had to pursue the sting against Aref. Otherwise, he said, “he would have walked around with an intelligence case on him forever.”

also wrote <a href="http://harpers.org/archive/2009/11/0082719 ">"The Intelligence Factory: How America makes its enemies disappear"</a> for <em>Harper's Magazine</em>

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  • Terry Wagar

    Gang-stalking is a target specific sting operation organized and funded by local authority’s and their accomplices and informants and by anyone else law enforcement recruits into it!

    These sting operations are similar to regular sting operations and many tactics of sting operations are used in gang-stalking specific targets!

    These specific sting operations consist generally of a three pronged attack on their target!

    1. They take full control of the targets surrounding area around the targets home in order to control the area and to organize staged crimes using under cover officer’s that perform for their video surveillance, police/sheriff’s accomplish this by using their police powers to covertly take control of their targets surrounding area near the targets home!

    Under cover police and their accomplices will take several months to a couple years staging crimes near their target and near their targets home and will even dress up like their target and act as doubles for photogenic photo’s in order to frame their target for crimes (building a case against target!).

    2. Under cover police/sheriff’s will Gas-light their target heavily for their video surveillance in order to put target in fear and to terrorize their target, they do this knowing their target has no way of defending against it and if target tries to warn people about it no one will take them seriously, thus the target appears to others that do not witness these crimes to be mentally ill, so Gas-lighting is a favorite tactic police use to terrorize their target with!
    Police/sheriff’s (gang-stalkers) will Gaslight their targets vehicle as well by letting air out of their tires daily and will annoy their target publicly via street theater tactics, they do this knowing any reaction the target makes will make the target appear for their video surveillance to be either a angry/dangerous person, or a mentally ill person!

    So the gang-stalkers endlessly harass and menace their target on the street wanting the target to react to their subtle harassment for the gang-stalkers video surveillance!

    Police/sheriff’s are experts in harassing people and menacing people and using subtle tactics to provoke people into acting in self defense against the harassment and provoking, and it is that act that police/sheriff’s want to get on their video surveillance cameras!

    3. Law enforcement and their bros and girlfriends will literally campaign against their target publicly behind their targets back and they do so in such a way as to make it impossible for the target to defend themselves!

    Gang-stalkers use constant slander and defamation of character accusations against their target around their targets neighborhood and in their targets place of employment and even around their targets neighbors!

    Their slander campaign is done behind the back of their target so target is unaware of it, and since it is police/sheriff’s that are doing this it is easy for them to tell people the target is a “Bad Guy” and to tell people to be on the lookout for that person!

    By the time the target suspects there is a problem it is already too late because police, using their police powers, without any trial or due process, just spent several months destroying the targets name and reputation!

    The combination of police staging crimes using doubles and their covert slandering of their target reveals what police are framing their target for, and it is fifty-fifty whether police want their target prosecuted, or whether they just want to murder off their target after framing their target!

    Many innocent people are targeted this way by police/sheriff’s and many victims are publicly pedofied by law enforcement while police/sheriff’s use doubles and photogenic photo’s to frame their target, most people falsely accused of being pedophiles end up dead after police/sheriff’s destroy their names and reputations!

    All these tactics are tactics police/sheriff’s use on a daily basis, and your news reporters are fully aware of these practices and are mums the word about it because news reporters always lie for Fascist minded law enforcement officer’s and cover up and conceal these tactics from the general population!

    Many people not in law enforcement join in on the targeting and are recruited into these crimes, many people are involved into these crimes because they were Grandfathered into it because these type of crimes have been going on for many decades!

    Gang-stalking, or whatever term you want to call it by, is a sting operation that is tailored specifically to a particular target, what happens to one target may vary from target to target, but the general tactics are used in almost all targeting!

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