War on Terror

The Crazy Guy Yelling on the Corner May Be the FBI's Next Big Terror Bust

The Intercept details another plot put together by the FBI

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Osmakac riding around with an FBI agent, thinking he's Bane. ||| YouTube
YouTube

If we're not well aware by now that many of the FBI's domestic terrorist busts are of lone nutjobs with bonkers ideas and not actual embedded agents of chaos here to wreck our way of life, The Intercept has an in-depth look at Sami Osmakac. Osmakac has been sentenced to 40 years in federal prison for a terrorist plot in Tampa put together almost entirely by FBI agents, one of whom referred to Osmakac as a "retarded fool" in recorded conversations. Those conversations were supposed to have been kept sealed by a judge's orders, but transcripts were provided to The Intercept by a confidential source.

What was he doing before this plot to blow up bridges in Tampa Bay for Allah? He was getting into a fight with a Christian protester outside a Lady Gaga concert. As The Intercept notes, Osmakac's "plan" once an undercover FBI agent started working with him as a possible source for weapons sounded absurd:

For all Osmakac's talk, the FBI's undercover videos suggest he was less a hardened terrorist and more a comic book villain. While driving around Tampa with Amir, a hidden FBI camera near the dashboard, Osmakac described a plot to bomb simultaneously the several large bridges that span Tampa Bay.

"That's five bridges, man," Osmakac says. "All you need is five more people …. This would crush everything, man. They would have no more food coming in. Nobody would have work. These people would commit suicide!"

This all happened a year before The Dark Knight Rises was released, so at least he wasn't a plagiarist. Osmakac didn't have five more people. He didn't have anybody. He didn't have any money. He was a troubled loner who seemed to have snapped at some point, and several mental health professionals hired both by the defense and the court diagnosed him as either psychotic or schizoaffective.

Whether Osmakac had any potential for danger if the FBI hadn't essentially fed him a script and the tools he needed is unknowable. Trevor Aaronson delves deeply into Osmakac's background. It's possible to see parallels with the radicalization of the Tsarnaev brothers (as Dzhokhar's trial continues on today). But those secret FBI recordings also make it pretty clear that the FBI was really working to make a terrorist threat out of Osmakac, talking about prosecutors wanting to get a "Hollywood ending" out of the whole thing. But we don't know whether Osmakac would have ever become a terrorist on his own or, alternatively, somebody who needed ongoing mental health treatment.

Read the full story here.

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    1. This shit used to be called entrapment, but hey, whatever it takes to run up those stats and keep the public terrorized.

      1. Why do you support the terrorists?

        1. The terrorists have already won. They got us to destroy our own freedoms that they hated us for.

          1. You are correct here, WTF.

            Professor Grant Wardlaw predicted many years ago that “whilst insurgent or domestic terrorism poses or has posed severe problems of public security in some countries ? there is a strong case for the argument that it cannot fundamentally threaten a democracy (unless it be by forcing the state to betray its own values by overreacting).”

      2. ….but hey, whatever it takes to run up those stats and keep the public terrorized.

        …and keep those budgets nicely fattened!

  1. Well what’s more important, justice and stopping actual terror plots or giving the FBI and a US Attorney the scalp of a terrorist to boast on their CVs?

  2. Look, they closed the X-files, so what else is the FBI supposed to do if not make up a supervillain so they can take him down?

  3. A crazy guy in Tampa? Too bad my shocked face is at the dry cleaners

  4. At this point it seems like the FBI involves itself in two main activities; distributing child porn and instigating bomb plots. Occasionally they will come and clean up the mess when someone does manage to blow something up. Mostly, however, they seem content to entice the stupid and the loud mouthed into becoming involved in bomb plots that the FBI can then save the day by stopping.

    Am I the only one who finds the entire situation insane? Rather than solve crime that happens on its own, the FBI seeks to create its own crime to solve.

    1. Pretty much. They could’ve gained some respect if they had stopped the boston bombings. But those dick smacks screwed that up, and they even had a tip.

      1. I still can’t discount the thought that the Boston bombings were one of these FBI plots that got away from them.

        I hate that I’m thinking that way.

        1. There’s a file that will forever remain classified.

        2. I doubt it. One of the brothers is still alive.

      2. I just can’t shake the feeling that both the Oklohoma city bombing and the Marathon bombing were plots that the FBI knew about and lost control of.

        IIRC there were some anomalies that implied that some of McVeigh’s fellow travelers were really working undercover for the FBI – and though the FBI knew about him, they didn’t realize he was actually building a bomb on his own.

        Similarly in the Tsarnaev brothers’ case, I consider the shooting of that friend of theirs while he was being interviewed by the feds to be suspicious. Again, these guys built their own bombs, rather than waiting for the Feds to give them a fake one that could be used as evidence against them.

        1. I consider the shooting of that friend of theirs while he was being interviewed by the feds to be suspicious.

          To be fair, that friend was an MMA fighter. He could have decided to open a can of whoopass on the agent who then reasonably feared for his life and acted accordingly.

          1. Explain again why they have their service weapons in the interrogation room? That seems like an incredibly unsafe practice.

            1. They’re federal agents. They do what they want. Who’s going to stop them?

            2. Explain again why they have their service weapons in the interrogation room? That seems like an incredibly unsafe practice.

              He (and two Mass. State Troopers) wasn’t in an interrogation room, he was at the dude’s apartment.

              Alleged timeline of events.

              1. My mistake. For some reason i had the idea they were interrogating him at a police facility

          2. The circumstances were suspicious, although today I couldn’t find the articles I originally read. I did find this: http://www.policestateusa.com/…..execution/

            Read with your usual skepticism, and definitely check the links.

          3. To be fair, that friend was an MMA fighter. He could have decided to open a can of whoopass on the agent who then reasonably feared for his life and acted accordingly.

            Yeah, no. MMA is not some sort of super-killy bloodsport. Its not Mortal Kombat, mostly its sweaty guys wrestling with a few punches thrown in.

        2. How can an agency that has The Mentalist on their side lose control of anything?

    2. They used to run a hit-for-hire operation in Boston, but their guy retired.

    3. FBI agents aren’t totally useless. One gave first aid to Tamir Rice after the cops shot him.

    4. …the FBI seeks to create its own crime to solve.

      They don’t even have to solve the crime because they virtually write the script for it and supply the material and logistics. This goes beyond entrapment. I’d call it framing.

    5. Are we still talking about the FBI or did we switch over to the BATFE at some point?

  5. Actually, there is a method to the FBI’s madness.

    Essentially, they are doing what Saddam Hussein did to prevent people organizing to rebel against him.

    In Iraq, the security organs would order random people in poisitions of some degree of power – such as adminsitrators, professors, engineers etc to approach their collegues and to try to enlist them into an Anti-Saddam plot.

    If the colleague didn’t report the approach, or even worse agreed to join the plot, he was arrested and likely executed.

    As a result, anyone who was approached to join an anti-Saddam plot assumed it was a trick, and refused to join and reported the guy approaching him.

    I don’t think there are too many frustrated terrorists in the U.S. who are being thwarted by not knowing how to band together. Moreover, this phenomenon does not apply to people who trust each other and know each other not to be government agents. So I don’t think this is a significant contributor to the lack of terrorist attacks in the U.S.

    But I do think the phenomenon has definitely made it harder for strangers with common interests to trust each other.

    1. The other day John posted a link to some Obama jokes. One I remembered.

      Q) How do you start an Obama joke?

      A) By looking over your shoulder.

    2. So far, every case I’ve seen mentioned has involved “terrorists” so dim-witted the FBI had to work overtime to get anything out of them. My hunch is that any real terrorists could smell the FBI stench from a mile away and find each other perfectly well on their own. The FBI has probably done more damage by lulling themselves into a false sense of superiority. I doubt they could recognize a real terrorist if he walke dinto their offices, and they’d probably shit their pants if it happened. Like cops going on drug raids instead of investigating real crimes, they want to go home at night.

    3. Anyone who offers to give you a bomb or do a cut-rate hit on your ex is a Fed. Also, pro-tip: anyone who has all their fingers and claims to be a bomb-maker is almost certainly lying. Disfiguring burn scars are also marks of credibility.

      1. I was going to argue with you but then you saved yourself with your last sentence. One can make plenty of bombs with losing a limb or parts thereof, but burns of some sort are 100%.

        1. er*without*. Fucking edit button NOW!!!

          1. No true libertarian ducks responsibility for his/her typoes by shifting the blame to a non-existent edit button.

    4. I do think the phenomenon has definitely made it harder for strangers with common interests to trust each other.

      I doubt it does even that. If I am the type who would want to engage in that kind of thing, I am not trusting anyone to begin with. I don’t thing groups of random strangers ever band together to form that kind of criminal enterprise. It is always groups of people who are close family members or long time friends.

      The FBI is accomplishing nothing here except entrapping people into ruining their lives.

  6. “That’s five bridges, man,” Osmakac says. “All you need is five more people ?.

    I make 4 bridges: Courtney Campbell, Howard Frankland, Gandy and the Sunshine Skyway. And last time I looked there are about a half dozen major airports in the MSA, and to top it all off Pinellas County is a fucking peninsula. Who took this guy seriously?

    1. It is also really hard to blow up a bridge. Even a large car bomb won’t do it. You have to have powerful charges put in the right places. Doing that means getting explosives more powerful than your typical homemade kind and climbing around on the super structure of the bridge putting them at key spots. If someone is able to go out in broad daylight and rig a major bridge to explode without anyone noticing or stopping them, I would say we have bigger problems than this guy can create.

      The whole thing is a fucking joke.

      1. Fire can’t melt steel, John. Stop using physics to other these people.

        1. “Fire can’t melt steel….”

          Be careful Brett. You might be labelled a truther.

        2. How do they make steel, anyway? Or, perhaps better phrased, how do truthers think steel is made?

          1. Yeah, what is “fire” but just heat? They are saying “heat can’t melt steel”. Ah, I think it can.

          2. I used to work in the steel industry and I can absolutely tell you it’s not made by splashing iron ore with kerosene and throwing in a match.

            1. No it is not. Jet fuel however is not kerosene, there was a lot more than a splash, it burnt for a long time, and it didn’t melt it. It just weakened it enough to collapse from the strain.

              1. At the hot rolling mill, we would heat the steel to about 640 F to roll it; it becomes much softer at those temperatures.

    2. He could be counting the Bayside Bridge.

  7. my neighbor’s mother makes $86 /hour on the internet . She has been fired from work for 8 months but last month her check was $12427 just working on the internet for a few hours. see it here…………..

    ????? http://www.netjob70.com

  8. “That’s five bridges, man,” Osmakac says. “All you need is five more people ?. This would crush everything, man. They would have no more food coming in. Nobody would have work. These people would commit suicide!”

    In minor defense of the FBI, this is exactly what and how the real terrorists think. They believe they can blow up a building or crash a plane, and it will bring 360,000,000 people to their knees in despair as our economy collapses.

    I remember years and years ago, arguing with someone online (yeah, I know) who was proud of his foreign nation’s nuclear ambitions and asked me, “What would you do if you knew an ICBM was headed for New York and Boston”

    My response: I’m not even sure it would get me up in the morning.

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