Bumbling Terrorists

Tell me if you’ve heard this one: An FBI agent infiltrates an actual, figurative or virtual mosque, finds the most gullible and angry dork around, encourages him to get even, plots out some dubious plan, gives him bombs that don’t quite work, then arrests this dupe to much fanfare.

In every country, at all times, young men can be led to kill or be killed, commit mass murder or blow themselves up. These callow and reckless males need to prove that they are men at all. Many also don’t think they’ll ever die. Without this endless stream of puppets, fall guys, patsies and war heroes, cynical old farts won’t be able to achieve most of their greedy or evil objectives.

As we encroached into Pakistan and as our drones zapped their citizens, the FBI set up sting operations to entrap Pakistani-Americans. They’re terrorists, you see, we have to kill them. Now, as we’re eyeing Somalia, a Somali-American fool is conveniently arrested. This incident also serves to dampen the outrage over the state-sanctioned sexual molestation at our airports.

Why Somalia? Why now? Follow the money. It’s the oil and natural gas. Before he was ousted in a coup in 1991, Mohammed Siad Barre ruled Somalia for 20 years. As with nearly every other dictator, Barre was very chummy with Uncle Sam. He liked us so much he leased nearly two-thirds [!] of Somali territory to four American oil companies, Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips. Most of this dough went into Barre’s personal bank account, of course, not the country treasury. With Barre gone, however, we can’t get to that land to drill, baby, drill. The demonization of Somalia is likely prep work for an invasion, unless we’ll be too far broke to send over 50,000 or so of our youngish crazies.

Uncle Sam always prattles on about democracy, but dictators are his favorite kind of humans. In granting Uncle Sam — let’s just call him Samo, as in Same Old, Same Old — these ridiculous concessions, a dictator gets his cut, so both dictator and Samo are happy. Who cares about the looted and raped population? When they rise up, like they eventually did in Somalia, Samo will send in his troops “to restore order” in a “peace and humanitarian” mission. Similarly, World Bank and International Monetary Fund loans are often just bribes to Samo’s favorite dictators. It’s how Uncle does business.

In announcing the arrest of Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19 years old, the FBI said that he “acted alone,” but this is contradicted by the very narrative told by the FBI, itself: The agency provided Mohamud with cash, fake bombs and van. It abetted him every step of the way, but the idea for mass murder came from Mohamud alone, the FBI charges. In the affidavit, the FBI recounts a meeting in a Portland hotel room where Mohamud told an undercover FBI agent that he wanted to be “operational,” that “he wanted to put an explosion together,” that “he has heard of brothers putting stuff in a car, parking it by a target, and detonating it.” In short, Mohamud hatched up the bomb plot entirely by himself, except the FBI has no proof of this. The affidavit states that the agent “was equipped with audio equipment to record the meeting. However, due to technical problems the meeting was not recorded.” All the other meetings were recorded and/or filmed, but this one, where intentionality could have been unequivocally established, was conveniently not.

Like all patsies, Mohamud doesn’t appear too bright. Before being approached by an undercover agent on June 23rd, he was prevented from boarding an airplane on June 14th. He wanted to fly to Alaska for a summer job. Knowing that he was on a no-fly list, that he was already on the government’s radar, Mohamud didn’t lie low but fell into the FBI’s trap nine days later. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber, was allowed onto an airplane to carry out a bomb plot. Mohamud, on the other hand, was prevented from boarding an airplane so he could carry out another bomb plot. Grounded, he could be groomed into a wannabe terrorist by two FBI agents.

Dude wasn’t too bright. As quoted in the affidavit, Mohamud could barely stutter his way through a sentence without overdosing on “you know” and other verbal mishaps. In one of the recorded meetings, Mohamud did state that deterrence and revenge were his two motivations. He wanted “in general just a huge mass that will, you know, like for them, you know, to be attacked in their own element with their families celebrating the holiday. And then for later to be saying, this was them for you to refrain from killing our children, women… so when they hear all these families were killed in such a such a city they’ll say, you know, what your actions, you know, they will stop, you know. And it’s not fair they should do that to people and not feeling it”

Translation: Mohamud wanted us to stop killing Muslims. It’s not right that we can kill people without feeling it. If our own families were killed, we would know what it’s like and perhaps stop the carnage.

Our president was awarded a Nobel Peace prize — hold the laugh track and applause, please, but two years into his reign, we still have nearly 200,000 soldiers occupying two Muslim countries. How many of those are also after revenge and deterrence? Unlike Mohamud, however, with his pathetic, FBI-assisted duds, how many of our young men and women have exploded real bombs, shot real bullets into real bodies, destroyed countless families without remorse? Mohamud may be a fool, even a murderous one, but he’s at least correct in this observation: America can kill without feeling anything. Our invasion and occupation of Iraq has caused over a million deaths, a fact that hardly registers here. Like Barbara Bush and her beautiful mind, we have so much else to entertain and distract us.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate. He's tracking our deteriorating social scape through his frequently updated photo blog, Postcards from the End of America. Read other articles by Linh.

2 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozh said on November 29th, 2010 at 9:57am #

    widest look wld reveal that in-kind nothing ever changes. only severity of crimes change and only because of ‘better’ metalic killing things.

    obama, clinton, jefferson, kennedy, genghis, caligula, churchill, netanyahu, bismarck, senacherib, nebuchadnezzar, a tsar, think egzactly the same; behave differently; as conditions change.

    this fact shatters the myth that netanyahu is bribed so as to emend his behavior. or that obama [read, please, u.s] needs or wants bibi to improve.
    u.s needs israel as ever greater butcher and oppressor client.
    that’s the message that syria, afgh’n, iraq probably get’s: pay attention to what we are doing to palestinians or else u’d wind up like gazans or worse!

  2. Don Hawkins said on November 29th, 2010 at 12:05pm #

    Just watched Clinton on TV and she reminds me of one of my step mothers the evil one.