Inside the FBIs Terrorism Factory
William Norman Grigg
Recently by William Norman Grigg: Hysterical
As an ex-convict,
Newburgh, New York resident James Cromitie was thankful to find
a steady job. As a
Muslim convert, he was particularly grateful that he could wear
his kufi a knit skullcap akin to a yarmulke at work without
provoking his supervisor's disapproval. Some of the customers, however,
took unintended offense.
I'm a Muslim," Cromitie told Maqsood, a
friend he had met at the local mosque, in an
October 19, 2008 phone conversation. "My boss say, 'Hey, Abdul,
I want you to go help this lady.' And then she look at me [and says],
'Oh. What is you, Muslim?' I'm like, 'Yes.' 'Oh, I'll get someone
else to help me.... They really don't like Muslims."
asked why people "don't like Muslims," Cromitie, displaying a touch
of frustration, replied: "Only Allah knows.... I think they think
that we are better than them, but we don't think that." He went
on to describe a few workplace conversations in which he described
some teachings and practices of his faith; one of those chats was
with an individual Cromitie described as "some guy I talked to,
[a] nice Jewish guy."
thread proved irresistible to Maqsood, who eagerly seized it and
gave it a stout yank. According to Maqsood, a
wealthy man from Pakistan who claimed to be a Muslim religious scholar,
the Prophet Mohammed "has forbidden us to have these, the Jews,
Yahuds, because they are responsible for all of the evils
in the world."
For the rest
of the conversation, Maqsood persistently wove anti-Jewish resentment
into the conversation, seeking to stitch Cromitie's personal concerns
into a larger canvas of hatred. He told Cromitie that "every second
adviser in the White House, they Yahuds," and tried to convince
him that the bloodshed carried out by U.S. military forces in Afghanistan
and Pakistan "where your blood comes from" was a reflection
of the all-encompassing evil of the Jews.
In fact, Maqsood
had been plying Cromitie with messages of this kind for months,
and the wealthy Pakistani was a little frustrated that his American
acquaintance didn't appear to be a particularly apt pupil. Oh, sure,
Cromitie would occasionally let slip a derogatory reference to Jewish
people, particularly women who had insulted him at work. But for
all of his flaws, mistakes, and frustrations, Cromitie displayed
a persistent strain of embattled decency that led him to see Jews
as individuals, rather than as a undifferentiated mass of malevolence.
of our [Muslim] brothers is worser than the Yahudi," Cromitie
commented during the October 19 phone chat, displaying an ability
to assess individual merit in ways that transcend tribal loyalty.
In a similar conversation a week earlier, Cromitie, referring to
workplace insults he had experienced because of his Muslim religion,
related that his religious convictions gave him the strength to
endure them without retaliating: "I'm a Muslim; insha'Allah, Allah
will take care of it."
This was entirely
unacceptable, insisted Cromitie's self-appointed spiritual tutor.
It was good to be angry at Jews and other infidels, but mere anger
isn't enough; it has to be transmuted into the kind of "righteous"
rage that ends in bloodshed. By way of an example, Maqsood referred
to a terrorist bombing of a Marriott hotel in Pakistan. That act,
Maqsood insisted, was carried out by people he identified as "brothers"
to "send a message" that supposedly brought glory to Allah. The
people responsible for that crime were "doing good, wonderful jobs
and I'm happy with that," Maqsood told Cromitie, who didn't share
his self-designated mentor's enthusiasm.
no effort to shepherd every conversation with Cromitie in the direction
of "jihad." He would first identify a personal grievance. Then he
would tie it thematically to legitimate acts of armed self-defense
carried out by Muslims against Washington's military aggression
in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. Then Maqsood, his pose as holy
man notwithstanding, worked to seduce Cromitie into accepting the
proposition that terrorism is a legitimate form of "holy war."
Cromitie found Maqsood's teachings unconvincing.
"We are kicking
their asses in ... Kabul," Maqsood boasted.
"I don't care,"
Maqsood continued to peddle the notion of militancy to someone not
inclined to buy in.
"When I, when
I see these, these Mushkirks, these Yahud, killing
the Palestines, of killing Muslims, of killing people in, in Iraq
or in Afghanistan, one of our brothers, I, I always think about
going for a cause, you know?" Maqsood hectored Cromitie. "For a
cause of Islam. Have you ever thought about that, brother?"
was earnest in his faith, was obviously not on the same page with
the oddly insistent man from Pakistan.
"It's sad that
our Muslim folk and our children folk in Islam has to wake up to
a bombing from somebody else every night, cannot sleep, have to
be on point 24/7, have to sit up and wait, don't know what's coming
next," he replied to Maqsood. "I think we need peace. In some way
we have to make it happen." While he allowed that it may be necessary
"to go answer the enemy in a different way," Cromitie didn't want
to leave the impression that he would countenance violence against
the innocent: "Don't look at it like I, like I wanna be a terrorist
although Cromitie was a convert and his Pakistani friend from the
local mosque was a life-long Muslim and self-described scholar
it was the former who espoused the orthodox view of jihad as a
war of defense, and the latter who was promoting what traditional
Muslims would regard as a heresy, namely jihad as an indiscriminate
campaign of lethal violence against non-Muslims.
Turkish free market advocate Mustafa Akyol points out, the Koran
contrary to the assumptions embraced by modern Islamists and the
compulsive mosque-baiters with whom they're joined in a kind of
morbid co-dependency teaches armed jihad as a defensive enterprise,
commands Muslims to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants,
and prescribes limits even in making war against aggressors.
writes Akyol, "led the medieval Islamic jurists to create a literature
of jus in bello, or rules of a proper conduct of war. For
example, many of those jurists limited or banned the use of mangonels
and catapults, for these war machines inflicted indiscriminate casualties
on the enemy. In other words, even what the Westerners call 'collateral
damage' these days was a matter of concern for Muslim scholars of
the Middle Ages. It is therefore ironic, and sad, that some of todays
Muslims a tiny minority, to be sure are willing to inflict not
just 'collateral' but also intentional damage on the enemy noncombatants."
of that kind are not recognized by the intellectual architects of
Islamic terrorism because their movement is inspired more by the
19th Century nationalism than by the teachings of Mohammed, according
to Akyol. Like their counterparts from other backgrounds, those
who peddle Islamist nationalism practice a form of indoctrination
Akyol calls the "sloganization
of scripture" that is, orphaning passages from the appropriate
context and deploying them for the purpose of mobilizing political
Muslim terrorists, Akyol observes, "attack innocent lives not because
their religion tells them to do that it actually tells them not
to do that. They rather attack out of loathing, which is rooted
in their political misfortunes." A sincerely devout Muslim, Akyol
insists that for those who genuinely share his convictions, "Nothing,
simply nothing, can justify the killing of innocents."
of scripture" can take the form of weaponizing a handful of passages
from one's own holy books and treating them as a license to commit
political murder. It can also mean winnowing a handful of incendiary
texts from the sacred books of a different religion and using them
to create a suitably hateful caricature. Maqsood, interestingly,
appeared to be performing both of those roles in his dialogues with
James Cromitie. This isn't surprising when it's understood that
this purported Muslim holy man
was actually an FBI provocateur named Shahed Hussain.
in this space before, Hussain was what federal prosecutors called
a terrorism "facilitator." A
wealthy and politically connected criminal from Pakistan, Hussain
showed up at the mosque in Newburgh flaunting a large, taxpayer-supplied
bankroll and a fleet of late-model luxury cars.
a career criminal's instinct for sizing up a vulnerable target
and, most likely, a detailed FBI dossier on his future victim
Hussain quickly keyed on Cromitie. He was eventually able to round
up three others (David Williams and Onta Williams and LaGuerre Payen)
to take part in a purported plot to bomb a nearby synagogue and
a local Air National Guard base.
All of them
attended the same mosque. None of them had displayed any inclination
toward militancy before the Feds
deposited a terrorism "facilitator" in their midst. Yet a federal
jury found all four of them guilty on terrorism charges stemming
from a "plot" that was entirely manufactured by the FBI and carried
out by way of Hussain.
U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon remarked during a March 24 post-conviction
hearing: "The FBI did not infiltrate a plot. There was no plot."
That is, there was no plot on the part of the railroaded defendants.
That there was a plot on the part of the FBI and its pet provocateur
is indisputable. This would appear to be a perfect specimen of the
process of "radicalizing" Muslims, which His Holiness Peter King,
Inquisitor General of the Homeland Security State, considers the
most acute existing threat to life, limb, and virtue.
In fact, the
infiltration of mosques by Federal terrorism "facilitators" is the
dominant form of "radicalization" taking place today. Similar efforts
on the part of authentic Muslim militants may well be underway,
but the FBI has refined the relevant techniques into a science.
Muslims who refuse to cooperate with the Feds aren't trying to conceal
subversives from the authorities; they're trying to avoid contact
with the FBI's ever-growing pool of provocateurs and informants.
The frame-up of the "Newburgh 4" splendidly illustrates the wisdom
behind the decision not to cooperate with the Homeland Security
apparatus, which will exploit any opportunity to manufacture a "terrorism
the FBI "created the criminal then manufactured the crime," insists
a brief filed on behalf of Cromitie seeking for dismissal of the
case on the grounds of "outrageous government conduct."
Posing as a
wealthy and spiritually learned recruiter for the Pakistani terrorist
group Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hussain promised Cromitie and his impoverished
friends at least $25,000 apiece (and $250,000 to Cromitie as "ringleader")
for help in planting a bomb at a local synagogue and attacking military
aircraft with surface-to-air missiles.
at trial disclosed Shahed Hussain's cynical, but successful, effort
to turn James Cromitie from an angry and disaffected man into a
man motivated by money and spiritual reward to participate in a
terrorist plot," Cromitie's brief continues. The Feds "designed,
funded, supplied, engineered, and directed every detail of a highly
dramatic and frightening but entirely fake terrorist plot, leading
to the prosecution and conviction of Cromitie and his late-recruited
had focused his attention on Cromitie, he was fiercely determined
to suborn the hapless man into carrying out some role in a terrorist
"conspiracy" even though his target was anything but eager to
play along. About the only respite Cromitie experienced during the
period between late 2008 and early 2009 was the space of several
weeks in which "Moqsood" traveled to Pakistan, at FBI expense and
under the Bureau's supervision, to attend a terrorist training camp.
In March 2009,
after months of bribes, bullying, and brow-beating, Hussain provided
Cromitie with an expensive camera to photographs of the air base
and synagogue supposedly targeted in the plot. Rather
than doing as he was told, Cromitie actually sold the camera to
a neighbor for a fraction of its purchase price. He then told Hussain
that he had mistakenly destroyed the camera by sitting on it.
have been thinking of that episode during a
wiretapped April 5, 2009 conversation in which he tweaked Cromitie
for his reluctance to help in the supposed terror plot, despite
the promise of a huge payday.
"I have to
try to make some money, brother," Cromitie told Hussain, apparently
in reference to his efforts to find honest work.
"I told you,
I can make you 250,000 dollars, but you don't want it brother,"
The FBI's provocateur
continued to pursue his "reward in two ways" strategy, playing on
Cromitie's religious earnestness and exploiting his financial desperation
by insisting that carrying out terrorist would be both pious and
profitable. This meant, among other things, that whenever Cromitie
would speak of forgiveness and forbearance in the face of hostility
toward his Muslim faith, "Hussain posing as a religious wise man
'corrected' him and proclaimed that the true, religiously mandated
approach was to kill non-believers, not out of anger, but for the
glory of Allah," summarizes the defense brief.
appeals were coupled with blatant acts of bribery, shameless manipulation
such as claiming that Cromitie's reluctance to cooperate was putting
Hussain's life at risk and, finally, "veiled threats of physical
harm against Cromitie." The provocateur followed a script written
by FBI Special Agent Robert Fuller, who supervised every detail
of the frame-up. Fuller provided cars, cameras, cell phones, and
dummy explosives; he set up a storage warehouse for the bogus explosives
and a "safe house" for those involved in the supposed plot.
as a ventriloquist's dummy in recorded meetings with Cromitie and
his friends, Fuller did everything he could to get them to make
a dramatic pronouncement of their determination to kill Jews and
soldiers out of religious conviction. "Don't do it just for the
money," Hussain urged Cromitie in one recorded conversation regarding
violence against non-Muslims. "But do it, also say, in the name
By early 2009,
it must have seemed to Cromitie that he was trapped in some perverse
game show. When he wasn't being whipsawed by Hussain's passive aggression,
Cromitie was being teased with an ever-expanding list of prizes
for cooperating: He was offered a BMW, his own barbershop, an expense-paid
two-week vacation to Puerto Rico, and $250,000 in cash. All of this
was being promised to an ex-con who was frantic to earn an honest
living, a man who had a difficult time making enough to pay the
months of being pursued by this tenacious pest, Cromitie wearily
relented: "Okay. F**k it. I don't care. Ah, man. Maqsood, you got
here was that neither Cromitie nor any of his friends had any useful
skills in carrying out a terrorist plot no training, no weapons,
not even a driver's license. But they were four living, breathing,
black American Muslims; all they had to do was show up at the right
time and place to be arrested and photographed as living trophies
symbolizing another triumph of the Homeland Security State.
In its reply
to Cromitie's brief, the Regime stipulates to all of the facts while
saying almost in so many words that it's perfectly acceptable
to manufacture a crime in order to justify prosecuting someone who
harbors unacceptable attitudes toward the State.
that prior to his recorded conversations with Cromitie, the target
had expressed a desire to travel to Afghanistan to fight against
U.S. personnel occupying that country. Those comments were never
recorded; in fact, Cromitie was captured on tape saying exactly
according to the Feds, the frame-up was justified because Cromitie
was an incipient terrorist on account of his "deeply held desire
to avenge the injustices that in his eyes had befallen Islam and
Islamic people around the world.... Cromitie hated Jews and the
United States government and was not shy about expressing either
sentiment.... The exploitation of a defendant's warped religious
beliefs in violence sails far below the threshold of coercion that
would be necessary for a viable claim of outrageous government conduct."
In fact, in
every recorded instance in which the persecution of Muslims was
addressed, Cromitie maintained that he was willing to leave vengeance
in God's hands, trusting that justice would be done on Judgment
Day; it was Hussain, the Feds' well-compensated veteran
provocateur, who consistently peddled a "warped" religious belief
in criminal violence against the innocent.
already spent a dozen years behind bars by the time the Feds targeted
him for their provocation op. His most recent stint came after
he was arrested for selling cocaine to an undercover narcotics operative
behind a school. The narc most likely chose that location because
of federal sentence enhancements: For someone who makes a living
enticing people into committing drug offenses, getting a repeat
offender to sell drugs near a school is the equivalent of a Scrabble
maven playing "z" on the triple letter score square.
else of consequence done in the name of counter-terrorism, the Newburgh
4 case was staged for the institutional benefit of the Homeland
Security State and the individual career advancement of a handful
of FBI agents, federal prosecutors, and one exceptionally squalid
One very telling
indication of the perverse priorities at work here is found in the
fact that the
FBI actually intervened to prevent the arrest of David Williams,
Cromitie's co-defendant, on larceny charges so that they could
bust him as part of their contrived terrorist plot.
profit would result from allowing local authorities to prosecute
Williams on a charge involving an actual property crime? On the
other hand, arresting him as part of a black Muslim terrorist cell
now, there's a bust with a high Q
rating. Or, to recur to the Scrabble analogy, that's like playing
the "z" tile on the triple word score square at the intersection
of two fifteen-letter words.
signaling her willingness to hear the Newburgh 4's appeal, Federal
District Judge McMahon candidly described the supposed terrorist
conspiracy as a pure Federal fabrication: "The plot was created
before our very eyes in this courtroom," she
"The law allows
that to happen," lied Assistant U.S. Attorney David Raskin in reply.
This is actually
quite a stunning admission, coming as it does from someone of exalted
rank within the "Justice" Department: He acknowledged that the Feds
consider it to be legal and proper to manufacture terrorist plots
in order to justify what can only be described as show trials.
a news bulletin to people who had been paying attention, but there
is some value in getting one of the producers of the long-running
melodrama called Homeland Security Theater to make that key admission
on the record.
Norman Grigg [send him mail]
publishes the Pro
Libertate blog and hosts the Pro
Libertate radio program.
© 2011 William Norman Grigg
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