Staff Editorial

Government agencies deserve props for stopping would-be terrorist

The FBI arrested a man that they say was planning to place bombs in several Washington D.C. subways Wednesday.

Yes, for all the drama concerning the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it seems that there are still tangible threats to America and our way of life. The man, Farooque Ahmed, handed over plans to several Virginia subway stations, along with suggestions on what to place the bombs in and what times of day to detonate them, the FBI said.

However — and this is the important part — none of this was ever a real threat. The FBI and other government agencies were aware the whole time — and none of the al-Qaida members Ahmed was talking to were real terrorists. They were all government moles.

Essentially, the US just punked a would-be terrorist.

It’s nice to see that our homeland security department is strong enough to not only sniff out these threats, but to be able to set up an elaborate ruse as well. We’re not only responding to threats; we’re learning exactly when, where and how they’re going to attack and then we shut it down.

This isn’t the first time the US government has conducted domestic undercover operations, either. Most people know about the August arrest of Faisal Shazad — the Times Square bomber — but just last week a man in Hawaii was arrested for trying to attend a terrorist training camp in Pakistan. And last year another man was arrested for attempting to blow up a Dallas skyscraper. Federal authorities provided a fake detonator to the bomber in Dallas, preventing yet another disaster — and stopping one more attempt with undercover operatives.

It’s scary to think what would happen if the US didn’t maintain a vigilant defense. While 99.99 percent of Americans are decent, hard-working people, there are — no matter how hard we try — people working tirelessly to destroy everything we stand for. It’s something that the average citizen can’t do anything about, other than continue to support our domestic counter-terrorism operatives.

And it’s absolutely necessary to remember that while these terrorists were affiliated with al-Qaida, it doesn’t mean that we should treat Muslims any differently. There’s a word for that — and it’s hate.

1 Comment

  • I hate to imagine what Farooque Ahmed, and other home-grown terrorists thinks of America now. To think that they despised America before, it must be even worse to find out that it was American government agents that were pulling your strings. To realize that the whole time he was acting against the government, he was in reality just the governments puppet. It must be too much to bear.

    I'm glad to hear that the federal government has no problem diffusing every terrorist threat they create for themselves. But I would be amazed if a would be terrorist who was supplied and supported solely by undercover agents and informants actually accomplished his goals.

    Too bad they cannot stop a real threat fomented by real terrorist agents such as the underwear bomber or the Times Square Bomber. It was only through their own incompetence that they were stopped.

    Of course, what should it matter to me, the average citizen that "can't do anything about" terrorism. It's not like terrorists have ever been restrained by regular people (excluding events like with the underwear bomber and Flight 93). And I doubt they are inflamed by our disparagement of their religion and places of origin or the continued wars we wage in their homelands. I bet they hate us not because we do these things, but because we have the freedom to do them.

    We should not be congratulating government officials and agents for defeating the manufactured threats they create for themselves. We should be disappointed that the security measures and actions taken since 9-11 have not prevented further attacks and examine why they have not.

    Perhaps we will find that the reason terrorism has not been stopped is because we put too much faith in authority, instead of seeing what we can do for ourselves. We should look into how our alienating fear of terrorism and anything Muslim has isolated and dehumanized people in Muslim communities, here and around the world, and has likely enhanced the efforts of terrorist recruitment.

    I'm glad you think we should not hate Muslims, but that will not cut it. It is not enough to just tolerate Muslims. We need to accept them into our communities. With acceptance we can build trust and understanding. Tolerance alone will not succeed. Allowing Muslims to exist along side us while using authorities to spy on their communities breeds mistrust and resentment. But when we accept Muslims into our community, we can exert the social pressure necessary to correct aberrant behavior, just as we do on every member of our community.

    But more likely, as we accept Muslims into our communities, even the disaffected will come to accept us as well. And with that the threat of terrorism will be diminished.

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