Three men convicted of trying to blow up synagogues in New York have each been sentenced to 25 years in prison. But the case has raised allegations of entrapment, after they were actually incited by the FBI, and handed fake bombs. Critics claim it was a set-up, but the judge said her hands were tied. For nearly a decade, the US has waged a widespread global war on terror. It has required a multi-tasking military effort overseas.
On the domestic front, US officials have decided to redouble their efforts, recently announcing counter-terrorism plans that refocus resources on combating home-grown plots. “This is the first counter-terrorism strategy that focuses on the ability of Al-Qaeda and its network to inspire people in the United States to attack us from within, ” John Brennan, U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor declared recently. Yet in countless so-called FBI sting operations, media reports suggest the FBI operative provided the fake C4, and actually showed them the fake stinger missile.
The inspiration to attack America has sometimes come from a government-paid informant working to orchestrate the plot. Critics of this tactic say it was exercised in a New York case dubbed the “Newburgh Four”. The suspects — poor, illiterate, African-American Muslims — were presented as the faces of homegrown terrorism, and subsequently found guilty of conspiring and attempting US terrorist attacks. “There was no direction by a foreign entity or terrorist group,” said Joseph Demarest, the head of the FBI’s New York office in May 2009. Instead direction came from Shahid Hussain. a Pakistani immigrant on the FBI payroll. He was reportedly paid $100,000 for his services.