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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that provides further support for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and its policy of inducing individuals, typically Muslims, to plot acts of terrorism. The appeals court additionally backed the outcome of the notorious FBI sting operation against the Newburgh Four.
Mohamed Mohamud is a young Somali American man who was convicted of attempting to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon, after he was targeted in an FBI sting operation. He is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence.
At trial, as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals notes [PDF], Mohamud’s defense maintained a “teenager with no criminal record had neither the means nor the intent to commit domestic terrorism” until he became involved with an undercover FBI contractor, who went by the name of Bill Smith, and FBI agents, who went by the names of Youssef and Hussein. However, the government contended Mohamud’s actions before he was targeted by the FBI, such as articles he wrote for “Jihad Recollections,” indicated his “readiness to commit such a horrific act of violence” and proved he was “predisposed” to commit a crime.
In Cromitie’s case, his defense argued the government informant exploited a relationship to “manipulate Cromitie into agreeing to the planned attacks” on a synagogue and military targets at a National Guard base. But the Ninth Circuit believes the “illusory cultivation of emotional intimacy” is allowed. Even though the government informant offered Cromitie, a poor black man, $250,000 in cash, a barbershop valued at $70,000, a new BMW, as well as a two-week vacation, this was not deemed an entrapment scheme that violated his due process.