In Human Events this morning, I discuss the growing claims that various accused jihadists were entrapped by the FBI, and ask what it would take for you to start killing for Allah:
What would it take for you to commit mass murder in the name of Allah?
Would you do it for money? For love? Out of a sense of justice? Out of a sense of religious duty?
Absurd as they may seem, these are serious questions, for as jihad mass-murder plots are being uncovered in the United States more frequently than ever, those accused of perpetrating them, and several Islamic groups, increasingly are charging entrapment: that overzealous FBI agents pushed poor innocent Muslims into taking part in a jihad plot that otherwise would never have existed.
And so it was last Tuesday, when a 21-year-old convert to Islam, Antonio Martinez (who now calls himself Muhammad Hussain), faced a federal grand jury and was charged with attempted murder of members of the U.S. military (which he sees as an enemy of Islam), along with attempting to set off a weapon of mass destruction.
The newly minted Muhammad Hussain’s defense attorney, Joseph Balter, declared that his client would “vigorously contest the charges,” and was considering claiming entrapment. The same possibility has been raised in the case of Mohamed Mohamud, a Muslim in Portland, Ore., who tried to murder those who had gathered for the city’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
Mohamud’s case is strikingly similar to Hussain’s, in that both involved Islamic jihadists’ attempt to explode bombs that they did not know were harmless decoys supplied to them by FBI agents — rather than the real thing.
Islamic advocacy groups such as the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have also complained about law enforcement officials’ use of informants inside mosques, claiming in some cases that the jihad plots thereby thwarted would never even have existed in the first place if undercover agents hadn’t started meddling.
Yet charges of entrapment are silly responses for Muhammad Hussain, Mohamed Mohamud, or any Muslim caught in a jihad terror plot. For there is every indication that Hussain and Mohamud were more than willing to do whatever was necessary to enable them to murder large numbers of Americans. This was not something they needed to be enticed into doing.
Prosecutors in Hussain’s case say he passed up several chances to back out, even after he got news about how Mohamud had been caught, and how those he had thought were fellow jihadists turned out to be FBI agents.
What’s more, the very fact they went ahead with their plots ought to be sufficient indication in itself that there was no entrapment. Think about it: what would it take to lead you to participate in a terrorist mass-murder plot? If undercover agents approached you and tried to entice you into working to kill large numbers of innocent people, how hard would it be to convince you to do it?…
There is more.