The Manufactured Menace From Michigan, Take Two

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When the stranger materialized a few years ago, nobody really knew much about him. He seemed like a suitably sympathetic figure and quickly ingratiated himself by offering whatever help he could. No task was too menial for him, and he had a way of finding just what the group needed right when it was required.

Most importantly, he seemed to share the group’s antipathy toward the government. If anything, he was just a bit more emphatic than the rest in denouncing official corruption and endorsing violent “direct action” against the state. He seemed eager to shepherd the group in a more militant direction, eagerly out-bidding every expression of outrage and hostility. One of his favorite recurring themes was the idea that a criminal state could only be fought through the use of criminal means.

When the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) staged an armed raid to arrest several members of the group, the helpful stranger was nowhere to be found. He did leave a parting gift, however, in the form of detailed allegations recorded in a federal indictment alleging that the group he had infiltrated on behalf of the JTTF was involved in extensive criminal activity — most of which was either suggested or directly facilitated by him — and an ambitious plot to wage war against the United States Government.

In broad outline, this is what most likely happened within Michigan’s Hutaree militia during the past couple of years, a period during which — as federal authorities now admit — the group was infiltrated by both an undercover FBI agent and a “cooperating witness.”

One of the FBI’s plants, significantly, “posed as someone who could provide the group with custom-made explosives,” observes the Detroit News.

That revelation is critical, since it means that the alleged plot to manufacture of improvised explosive devices — referred to, with hysterical hyperbole typical of the Regime’s pronouncements, as “weapons of mass destruction” — was quite possibly instigated by the FBI’s informant/provocateur.

The “Hutaree Conspiracy” was the second installment in the FBI’s ongoing Homeland Security Theater in Michigan. The Bureau’s campaign against the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque in Dearborn followed almost exactly the same script. The final act of that earlier melodrama was an October 28, 2009 FBI raid against several of the mosque’s adherents that ended with the death of its imam, Luqman Ameen Abdullah.

Initial reports claimed that Abdullah was killed in a “shootout” or “exchange of gunfire” with the Feds in a warehouse allegedly containing stolen goods. The word “execution” might be a more appropriate description in light of the fact that Abdullah was shot at least twenty times, including an entry wound in his back and an oddly specific grouping in and around the genital region.

The imam allegedly provoked the federal fusillade by shooting one of the FBI’s “K9 agents.” Significantly, the official autopsy report — a document actively suppressed by the Dearborn Police Department for more than three months — describes a series of “lacerations” (also described by Wayne County Chief Medical Examiner Carl Schmitt as “puncture wounds”) that are consistent with being mauled by a dog.

It’s possible Abdullah shot the dog to protect himself. It’s also possible that he never fired a shot, and the dog stepped in front of one or more round intended for Abdullah. The official FBI narrative is that “Freddy,” the Belgian Malinois killed during the raid, “gave his life in the line of duty” on behalf of “his team.” The dog was buried in a solemn ritual and his name was added to the FBI’s “memorial wall.”

We’ll never know the exact circumstances of “Freddy” death. This much has been clearly established, however: Abdullah bled to death with his hands cuffed behind his back while the FBI took the time to arrange an emergency medical airlift for their attack dog.

The most favorable construction one can put on this set of facts is that the feds handcuffed a helpless man who had been perforated by at least twenty gunshots. A grimmer possibility is that he was handcuffed before he was shot. In either case, this juxtaposition — a handcuffed man bleeds to death while his assailants arrange emergency medical treatment for their dog — reeks of some malodorous combination of depraved indifference and concentrated malice.

Despite the fact that both the investigation of the mosque and the raid were conducted by the local Joint Terrorism Task Force, no terrorism-related charges were filed against any of the ten men listed in the criminal complaint. The charges include “conspiracy” counts arising from an alleged plot to receive and sell “goods that defendants believed were stolen from interstate shipments”; one count of mail fraud; three counts related to possession of firearms or body armor by a felon; and tampering with automobile VIN numbers.

Attendees of Abdullah’s mosque included many men who had served time behind bars. As a younger man, Abdullah was convicted of assault. Like many of his followers and countless thousands of others scattered across the country, Abdullah was converted to radical Islam within the world’s largest and most lavishly funded madrassa — the federal prison system. His friends and supporters insist that Abdullah, despite his criminal history, was a caring, pious, and generous man. The mosque ran a soup kitchen and was involved in other forms of charitable outreach to the economically blighted neighborhood.

Abdullah was expansively hostile toward the government and deeply suspicious of the police — what rational person isn’t? — but those who knew him well insist he consistently rejected aggressive violence of any kind.

“My father was a sharp-tongued individual,” recalls Omar Reagan, a Los Angeles-based comedian and motivational speaker. “He would talk about his dislike of government — about how law enforcement wasn’t protecting and serving the people. But speaking his emotions and acting on his emotions are two different things.”

The “evidence” presented in the criminal complaint unsealed after Abdullah was killed shows that he encouraged his followers to acquire the skills to employ defensive violence to protect themselves from both private and government-employed criminals. He also explicitly and repeatedly refused to condone aggressive action against anyone.

FBI Counter-Terrorism Agent Gary Leone, the author of the affidavit, hurls speculative allegations with the exuberant glee of a caged monkey flinging feces at spectators.

In substantive terms, his criminal complaint deals with a small fencing operation. However, where “anti-government” groups are concerned, the FBI appears to suffer from an institution-wide case of Munchausen by proxy syndrome; this may be why the bureaucratic incentives under which Leone operates dictate that every molehill be described as if it were of Himalayan proportions. Accordingly, Abdullah and his followers are portrayed as nothing less than hardened, battle-ready shock troops of the global jihad:

“The investigation has shown that Luqman Ameen Adbullah, Imam of the Masjid Al-Haqq … is a highly placed leader of a nationwide fundamentalist Sunni group consisting primarily of African-Americans…. Their primary mission is to establish a separate, sovereign Islamic state (‘The Ummah’) within the borders of the United States, governed by Shariah law….. [Abdullah] regularly preaches anti-government and anti-law enforcement rhetoric. Abdullah and his followers have trained regularly in the use of firearms, and continue to train in martial arts and sword fighting…. Abdullah preaches that every Muslim should have a weapon, and should not be scared to use their weapon when needed.”

Even if every word of that summation were accurate, none of what is described above constitutes a crime — a fact Leone tacitly acknowledged by declining to file terrorism or sedition charges.

Furthermore, the inflammatory dicta in Leone’s complaint (which consumes 29 of the document’s 45 pages) artfully misrepresents Abdullah’s views regarding the legitimate use of violence, as those views were summarized by Leone’s snitches within the mosque. The most striking example of Leone’s dishonesty deals with an attempt by one of his assets to entrap Abdullah into endorsing terrorist violence.

“Confidential Source S-2,” a JTTF plant who allegedly recorded conversations with Abdullah, admits that he offered $5,000 to instigate some kind of criminal violence during the 2006 Super Bowl in Detroit. According to Leone’s own summary of the incident, “Abdullah said he would not be involved in injuring innocent people for no reason.”

“Confidential Source S-3″ alleges that Abdullah described how Abdul Samoor, one of his followers, “printed out several things from the internet including Al-Qaeda training camp materials. Abdullah said he told Saboor to throw them away and cautioned him not to look at things on the internet.” This — like most of the “evidence” assembled by Leone — was hearsay, but it actually works against the FBI’s interest by underscoring Abdullah’s refusal to endorse Islamic terrorism.

“S-3″ also describes a conversation during a trip to Alabama in which Abdullah commented that he “didn’t agree with bombing civilian targets such as buses, which occur in Israel and the West Bank, but said it is fine to bomb police stations.”

The awkward diction here suggests that Abdullah was referring specifically to actions taken by Palestinians and drawing a distinction — for whatever it might be worth — between terrorist attacks on helpless civilians and what he perceived as defensive insurgent warfare against armed personnel carrying out a military occupation.

One of the most critical disclosures offered by “S-3″ deals with a reported conversation on June 19, 2009, in which the imam told an associate that he knew someone in his mosque was “working for the FBI…. Abdullah said that he is hopeful that anyone who is working for the Feds will come to the mosque often to pray, will see the error of his ways, and admit he has been working with the Feds.”

Abdullah’s conciliatory remarks came on the same day he supposedly said that he would kill anybody “trying to gather information on him.” Leone accounts for this contradiction by claiming that the wily imam knew he was being “listened to and targeted by law enforcement so he intentionally [made] conflicting statements in order to protect himself.”

How can we tell which reported statements are sincere? Ah, this is easy, Leone would insist: We should dismiss anything that appears moderate and responsible as posturing, and assume that anything incendiary and self-incriminating represented Abdullah’s genuine intentions.

The problem here is that all of the “consensually recorded” comments that are directly quoted in the criminal complaint are entirely innocuous. It is only when one of the confidential informants is paraphrasing Abdullah that we are barraged with shockingly detailed references to alleged criminal acts and criminal plots.

Furthermore, the “direct” quotes are not complete: Nearly all of them contain strategically placed ellipses indicating the removal of potentially critical details. Presenting them as direct evidence would be tantamount to perjury through selective editing. And as we’ve seen, even the accounts provided by Leone’s pet provocateurs contain compelling evidence that Abdullah — whatever he may have planned or done — was not an aspiring terrorist.

Abdullah was infuriated by the wars of aggression being waged by the Regime in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was also convinced that the FBI was an enemy of American Muslims. Notwithstanding his passionate outrage, and despite Leone’s efforts to depict him as an exponent of aggressive jihad, Abdullah — as described in the complaint — endorsed violence only for defensive purposes.

“They [are] smashing the Muslims all over the world and then we sit here like everything is all right,” stated Abdullah in an October 10, 2008 conversation surreptitiously recorded by “S-3.” “‘Just leave us alone.’ I mean, no. Everything isn’t all right. Matter of fact, you better get up from over there and leave them people alone, man. You [are] wrong. It’s no threat from the Muslims here. The Muslims here are saying, you know, ‘Hey, just let us live here and [unintelligible], that’s the only thing they [are] worried about…. That’s no good, man.”

For Leone, the take-away here is that Abdullah maintained “it is not all right to simply get along with kuffars,” or non-Muslims — the insinuation being that Abdullah endorsed militancy and revenge. But Abdullah’s discursive remarks actually read like a plea for Washington to desist from its aggression against Muslims abroad, and respect the wishes of American Muslims to be left alone. Those are the sentiments of someone weary of armed violence, rather than someone eagerly courting confrontation.

Abdullah’s desire to be left in peace was captured in recorded comments recorded by “S-3″ on November 30, 2008. The conversation dealt with the activities of federal agents, who — according to Abdullah — were “just terrorizing the people.”

“It’s a whole organized effort,” he asserted. “Organized effort to betray you. But not just you, other people too. It’s not just, just Muslims”; it’s also people like “McVeigh and them” — meaning, apparently, non-Muslim “anti-government extremists” targeted for infiltration and manipulation by the FBI.

“It’s no question about, he [McVeigh] was involved in getting that stuff done,” Abdullah continued. “Even though they [McVeigh and "others unknown"] did what they did, they probably was irked on, and supported in everything, by the FBI.” After all, he pointed out, the “first World Trade Center bombing was the FBI.”

Bear in mind that Abdullah was describing the FBI’s documented history of orchestrating terrorist plots to an FBI informant-provocateur. I’m just cynical enough to suspect that this is what got him killed.

Within a few weeks of that conversation, FBI undercover operatives began a series of ten clandestine operations intended to entice members of Abdullah’s congregation into a plot to steal and fence stolen property.

All of those staged pseudo-crimes were instigated by the FBI’s assets, who also arranged for the “stolen” goods to be stored at a Dearborn warehouse that was rented by the FBI.

It was in that warehouse that Luqman Ameen Abdullah, a man once known as Christopher Thomas, an ex-con who understood how the FBI’s infiltration and provocation racket worked, was shot at least twenty times before bleeding to death with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Although nobody was killed when the FBI rolled up the Hutaree militia, the Bureau’s campaign against that “Christian militia” was struck from the same template used against Abdullah’s followers. Several of the Hutaree militiamen were seized at an FBI-controlled warehouse where they had gathered — unarmed — to attend what they had been told was a “memorial service.”

The FBI’s investigative accomplishments are criminally overrated, but in arranging ersatz terrorist plots it displays choreography skills that put the late Bob Fosse to shame. Recent events in Michigan suggest that the Bureau is staging a revival of its Hoover-era production, COINTELPRO. Don’t feel left out; the chances are pretty good that the Bureau’s touring troupe of provocateurs will visit your hometown sometime soon.

William Norman Grigg [send him mail] publishes the Pro Libertate blog and hosts the Pro Libertate radio program.

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