Bone-headed security decsions (homeland security edition)

Ah, you’ve got to love our anti-terrorism strategy.

  • Find an Arab speaker who’s got some criminal charges to work off.
  • Send him to a mosque or place where Muslims congregate.
  • Look for terrorists
  • If you can’t find any, look for people who need money or are mentally handicapped.
  • Bribe, beg, threaten, persuade, or cajole them to adopt Jihad (or at least say the right things into a microphone)
  • Get them to do something (no matter how incompetently) that might, be construed as furtherance of a terrorist action
  • Send in the SWAT team
  • Strut at the press release.

Case in point.

…the FBI has used informants…as one of many tactics to prevent another strike in the United States.

Monteilh’s mission as an informant backfired. Muslims were so alarmed by his talk of violent jihad that they obtained a restraining order against him.He had helped build a terrorism-related case against a mosque member, but that also collapsed. The Justice Department recently took the extraordinary step of dropping charges against the worshiper, who Monteilh had caught on tape agreeing to blow up buildings, law enforcement officials said. Prosecutors had portrayed the man as a dire threat.

And this is neither a recent or California only problem.  Chris Christie who was a U.S. Attorney before becoming New Jersey’s governor engaged in the same shady behavior in his prosecution of Hemant Lakhani.

Part of this is due to our screwed up judicial system that encourages prosecutors to dig in their heels and fight for convictions even when the evidence is shaky or, even when it proves the suspect’s innocence.

Some of it is laziness.

Some of it is incompetence.

Ayloush reported the FBI’s own informant to the FBI.

Members of the mosque told its leaders that they were afraid of Monteilh and that he was “trying to entrap them into a mission,”…The mosque went to Orange County Superior Court in June 2007 and obtained a restraining order against Monteilh, court records show.

After he vowed to go public…an FBI supervisor threatened him with arrest. “She said, ‘If you reveal your informant status to the media, it will destroy the Muslim community’s relationship with the FBI forever.”

Ah yes.  threaten your source and then appeal to him to keep quite because it’ll make your job easier.  Sounds like a plan.  Better prep Plan B.

At a subsequent meeting, Monteilh said, he signed a non-disclosure agreement in exchange for $25,000 in cash.

Let’s review.  Take a convicted felon.  Make him do all sorts of dodgy stuff.  Cut him loose and threaten him with arrest and then try to buy him off.  I’m sure we’ll be able to trust him now, right?  There’s nothing that’d get him to talk.

Whoops.

But Monteilh was arrested in December 2007 on a grand-theft charge and ended up back in jail for 16 months.

Just a guess.  He tried to get the FBI to get him off this in exchange for keeping him mouth shut (again) and went public when they wouldn’t (couldn’t?) play ball.

Very little of this makes us any safer.  But it generates cash (for participating agencies, security companies and assorted hangers on), the appearance that we’re making progress against terrorists and makes careers.

And, after all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

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