More Federal Agencies Are Using Undercover Operations

By ERIC LICHTBLAU and WILLIAM M. ARKIN

NOV. 15, 2014

www.nytimes.com

WASHINGTON — The federal government has significantly expanded undercover operations in recent years, with officers from at least 40 agencies posing as business people, welfare recipients, political protesters and even doctors or ministers to ferret out wrongdoing, records and interviews show.

At the Supreme Court, small teams of undercover officers dress as students at large demonstrations outside the courthouse and join the protests to look for suspicious activity, according to officials familiar with the practice.

At the Internal Revenue Service, dozens of undercover agents chase suspected tax evaders worldwide, by posing as tax preparers, accountants drug dealers or yacht buyers and more, court records show.

At the Agriculture Department, more than 100 undercover agents pose as food stamp recipients at thousands of neighborhood stores to spot suspicious vendors and fraud, officials said.
Undercover work, inherently invasive and sometimes dangerous, was once largely the domain of the F.B.I. and a few other law enforcement agencies at the federal level. But outside public view, changes in policies and tactics over the last decade have resulted in undercover teams run by agencies in virtually every corner of the federal government, according to officials, former agents and documents.

Some agency officials say such operations give them a powerful new tool to gather evidence in ways that standard law enforcement methods do not offer, leading to more prosecutions. But the broadened scope of undercover work, which can target specific individuals or categories of possible suspects, also raises concerns about civil liberties abuses and entrapment of unwitting targets. It has also resulted in hidden problems, with money gone missing, investigations compromised and agents sometimes left largely on their own for months.

“Done right, undercover work can be a very effective law enforcement method, but it carries serious risks and should only be undertaken with proper training, supervision and oversight,” said Michael German, a former F.B.I. undercover agent who is a fellow at New York University’s law school. “Ultimately it is government deceitfulness and participation in criminal activity, which is only justifiable when it is used to resolve the most serious crimes.”
Some of the expanded undercover operations have resulted from heightened concern about domestic terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

But many operations are not linked to terrorism. Instead, they reflect a more aggressive approach to growing criminal activities like identity theft, online solicitation and human trafficking, or a push from Congress to crack down on more traditional crimes.
At convenience stores, for example, undercover agents, sometimes using actual minors as decoys, look for illegal alcohol and cigarette sales, records show. At the Education Department, undercover agents of the Office of Inspector General infiltrate federally funded education programs looking for financial fraud. Medicare investigators sometimes pose as patients to gather evidence against health care providers. Officers at the Small Business Administration, NASA and the Smithsonian do undercover work as well, records show.

Part of the appeal of undercover operations, some officials say, is that they can be an efficient way to make a case. “We’re getting the information directly from the bad guys — what more could you want?” said Thomas Hunker, a former police chief in Bal Harbour, Fla., whose department worked with federal customs and drug agents on hundreds of undercover money-laundering investigations in recent years.

Mr. Hunker said sending federal and local agents undercover to meet with suspected money launderers “is a more direct approach than getting a tip and going out and doing all the legwork and going into a court mode.” “We don’t have to go back and interview witnesses and do search warrants and surveillance and all that,” he added.

But the undercover work also led federal auditors to criticize his department for loose record-keeping and financial lapses, and Mr. Hunker was fired last year amid concerns about the operations.

‘A Critical Tool’
Most undercover investigations never become public, but when they do, they can prove controversial. This month, James B. Comey, the director of the F.B.I., was forced to defend the bureau’s tactics after it was disclosed that an agent had posed as an Associated Press reporter in 2007 in trying to identify the source of bomb threats at a Lacey, Wash., high school. Responding to criticism from news media advocates, Mr. Comey wrote in a letter to The New York Times that “every undercover operation involves ‘deception,’ which has long been a critical tool in fighting crime.”

Just weeks before, the Drug Enforcement Administration stoked controversy after disclosures that an undercover agent had created a fake Facebook page from the photos of a young woman in Watertown, N.Y. — without her knowledge — to lure drug suspects.
And in what became a major political scandal for the Obama administration, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed guns to slip into Mexico in 2011 in an operation known as Fast and Furious that involved undercover operations.

In response to that episode, the Justice Department issued new guidelines to prosecutors last year designed to tighten oversight of undercover operations and other “sensitive” investigative techniques, officials said. Before prosecutors approve such tactics, the previously undisclosed guidelines require that they consider whether an operation identifies a “clearly defined” objective, whether it is truly necessary, whether it targets “significant criminal actors or entities,” and other factors, the officials said.
Peter Carr, a department spokesman, said that undercover operations are necessary in investigating crime but that agents and prosecutors must follow safeguards. “We encourage these operations even though they may involve some degree of risk,” he said.

Those guidelines apply only to the law enforcement agencies overseen by the Justice Department. Within the Treasury Department, undercover agents at the I.R.S., for example, appear to have far more latitude than do those at many other agencies. I.R.S. rules say that, with prior approval, “an undercover employee or cooperating private individual may pose as an attorney, physician, clergyman or member of the news media.”
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An I.R.S. spokesman acknowledged that undercover investigators are allowed to pose in such roles with approval from senior officials. But the agency said in a statement that senior officials “are not aware of any investigations where special agents have ever posed as attorneys, physicians, members of the clergy or members of the press specifically to gain information from a privileged relationship.”
The agency declined to say whether I.R.S. undercover agents have posed in these roles in an effort to get information that was not considered “privileged,” meaning the type of confidential information someone shares with a lawyer or doctor.

José Marrero, a former I.R.S. supervisor in Miami, said he knew of situations in which tax investigators needed to assume the identity of doctors to gain the trust of a medical professional and develop evidence that is tightly held. “It’s very rare that you do that, but it does happen,” Mr. Marrero, who has a consulting firm in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and continues to work with federal agents on undercover investigations, said in an interview. “These are very sensitive jobs, and they’re scrutinized more closely than others.”

Oversight, though, can be minimal. A special committee meant to oversee undercover investigations at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, for instance, did not meet in nearly seven years, according to the Justice Department’s inspector general. That inquiry found that more than $127 million worth of cigarettes purchased by the bureau disappeared in a series of undercover investigations that were aimed at tracing the black-market smuggling of cigarettes.

In one investigation, the bureau paid an undercover informant from the tobacco industry nearly $5 million in “business expenses” for his help in the case. (The agency gained new authority in 2004 allowing it to take money seized in undercover investigations and “churn” it back into future operations, a source of millions in revenue.)
Financial oversight was found lacking in the I.R.S.’s undercover operations as well. Detailed reviews of the money spent in some of its undercover operations took as long as four and a half years to complete, according to a 2012 review by the Treasury Department’s inspector general.
Wires Crossed
Across the federal government, undercover work has become common enough that undercover agents sometimes find themselves investigating a supposed criminal who turns out to be someone from a different agency, law enforcement officials said. In a few situations, agents have even drawn their weapons on each other before realizing that both worked for the federal government.
“There are all sorts of stories about undercover operations gone bad,” Jeff Silk, a longtime undercover agent and supervisor at the Drug Enforcement Administration, said in an interview. “People are always tripping and falling over each other’s cases.”

Mr. Silk, who retired this year, cited a case that he supervised in which the D.E.A. was wiretapping suspects in a drug ring in Atlanta, only to discover that undercover agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement were trying to infiltrate the same ring. The F.B.I. and the New York Police Department were involved in the case as well.

To avoid such problems, officials said, they have tightened “deconfliction” policies, which are designed to alert agencies about one another’s undercover operations. But problems have persisted, the officials said.

It is impossible to tell how effective the government’s operations are or evaluate whether the benefits outweigh the costs, since little information about them is publicly disclosed. Most federal agencies declined to discuss the number of undercover agents they employed or the types of investigations they handled. The numbers are considered confidential and are not listed in public budget documents, and even Justice Department officials say they are uncertain how many agents work undercover.

But current and former law enforcement officials said the number of federal agents doing such work appeared to total well into the thousands, with many agencies beefing up their ranks in recent years, or starting new undercover units. An intelligence official at the Department of Homeland Security, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters, said the agency alone spent $100 million annually on its undercover operations. With large numbers of undercover agents at the F.B.I. and elsewhere, the costs could reach hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

In a sampling of such workers, an analysis of publicly available résumés showed that since 2001 more than 1,100 current or former federal employees across 40 agencies listed undercover work inside the United States as part of their duties. More than half of all the work they described is in pursuit of the illicit drug trade. Money laundering, gangs and organized crime investigations make up the second-largest group of operations.

Significant growth in undercover work involves online activity, with agents taking to the Internet, posing as teenage girls to catch predators or intercepting emails and other messages, the documents noted. The F.B.I., Department of Homeland Security and Pentagon all have training programs for online undercover operations.

Defendants who are prosecuted in undercover investigations often raise a defense of “entrapment,” asserting that agents essentially lured them into a criminal act, whether it is buying drugs from an undercover agent or providing fraudulent government services.
But the entrapment defense rarely succeeds in court.
In terrorism cases — the area in which the F.B.I. has used undercover stings most aggressively — prosecutors have a perfect record in defeating claims of entrapment. “I challenge you to find one of those cases in which the defendant has been acquitted asserting that defense,” Robert S. Mueller III, a former F.B.I. director, said at an appearance this year.

The Times analysis showed that the military and its investigative agencies have almost as many undercover agents working inside the United States as does the F.B.I. While most of them are involved in internal policing of service members and defense contractors, a growing number are focused, in part, on the general public as part of joint federal task forces that combine military, intelligence and law enforcement specialists.

At the Supreme Court, all of the court’s more than 150 police officers are trained in undercover tactics, according to a federal law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity because it involved internal security measures. At large protests over issues like abortion, small teams of undercover officers mill about — usually behind the crowd — to look for potential disturbances.
The agents, often youthful looking, will typically “dress down” and wear backpacks to blend inconspicuously into the crowd, the official said.

At one recent protest, an undercover agent — rather than a uniformed officer — went into the center of a crowd of protesters to check out a report of a suspicious bag before determining there was no threat, the official said. The use of undercover officers is seen as a more effective way of monitoring large crowds.

A Supreme Court spokesman, citing a policy of not discussing security practices, declined to talk about the use of undercover officers. Mr. German, the former F.B.I. undercover agent, said he was troubled to learn that the Supreme Court routinely used undercover officers to pose as demonstrators and monitor large protests.

“There is a danger to democracy,” he said, “in having police infiltrate protests when there isn’t a reasonable basis to suspect criminality.”

Michael S. Schmidt contributed reporting.

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Outrageous coverup of 1995 OKC bombing continues

Jon Rappoport

activistpost.com

Utah attorney Jesse Trentadue claims his brother, Kenneth, was killed during interrogation, in federal custody 19 years ago, because Kenneth resembled the “other suspect” in the OKC Bombing case, John Doe #2.

The FBI claims Kenneth, with “41 wounds and bruises (according to AP),” committed suicide.

Attorney Trentadue states there was another man with Tim McVeigh at the scene of the Bombing on April 19, 1995—and it wasn’t his brother.

The FBI claims McVeigh was alone.

To settle this issue, in 2009, as AP reported, the FBI finally gave Trentadue some security tapes from buildings near the Murrah Federal Building. Magically, the tapes were all blank just before and after the Murrah Building was blown up at 9:02AM on 4/15/95.

Now, Trentadue has filed a FOIA suit against the FBI. He wants more tapes. A trial begins Monday.

The FBI claims it can’t find more tapes.

Everybody connected to the OKC bombing case knows there is another reason the FBI is tap dancing and lying:

Actual video footage of the Murrah Building falling would show the fabled truck bomb didn’t cause the damage to the Building and didn’t kill 168 people inside.

Video footage would show a straight-down demolition-type collapse. Meaning: charges placed on the columns did the true damage.

In 1995, while investigating the Bombing, I interviewed 4 explosives experts, and they concurred that the force of an ANFO truck bomb would have dissipated rapidly in the open air and failed to create so much destruction.

More importantly and specifically, the profile of the damage (which columns remained, and which fell) excluded the possibility that a bomb in a truck was the weapon.

Some columns closer to the famed Ryder truck stayed up; other columns farther away went down.

Shortly after the Bombing in 1995, I spoke to a reporter at the Daily Oklahoman. She said she’d interviewed a man who’d seen the Murrah Building collapse. He told her it went straight down, demolition-style.

I managed to reach this witness. He said he didn’t really see the Building go down.

I got back to the reporter. She was furious. She told me she had his statement in her notes. “I’m not making this up,” she said.

I also interviewed Hoppy Heidelberg, a grand juror in the OKC Bombing case. He told me he’d tried to persuade the prosecutor to call bomb experts as witnesses, but he was flatly turned down.

In 1995, anti-federal-government sentiment was rapidly spreading across America. Then, in the wake of the Bombing, President Bill Clinton gave a landmark speech. He basically told Americans they should come home to the government, the destruction of a federal building and the killing of 168 people was a heinous act that proved the real attitude of these “anti-government” groups. But security would be restored.

The speech was heralded as a “return to order and confidence.” Major media coverage of popular opposition to federal power receded.

From 1995 on, Americans who asserted federal power had expanded far beyond Constitutional boundaries have been labeled as potential terrorists.

9/11 took that accusation to a whole new level:

“The central government is always right. Those who say it’s fundamentally wrong are dangerous and/or mentally ill.”

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com

CONFIRMED: Both FBI & CIA Watched Boston Bombing Suspects for Years

FBI & CIA now admit to putting Boston bombing suspect on 2 “watch lists,” directly contradicting previous public statements. CIA most likely sponsored suspect’s trips to meet US-backed terrorists in Chechnya, Russia.

Tony Cartalucci

landdestroyer.blogspot.com

April 25, 2013 (LD) – It is now confirmed that Russian investigators contacted the FBI at least as early as 2011 in regards to Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and again just 6 months before the Boston attacks. Additionally, it is now revealed that both the FBI and CIA had Tsarnaev on at least 2 terrorist watch lists, contradicting previous FBI statements that the case was “closed” after not finding “any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign.”

FBI Caught in Staggering Series of Lies

The suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and brother Dzhokar Tsarnaev, would be revealed to the public by the FBI a day after a bizarre press conference cancellation and a security scare at the federal courthouse where a suspect was allegedly being brought.

The FBI would feign ignorance over the suspects’ identity, appealing to the witless public for help identifying and apprehending them. It would be claimed by the suspects’ family members that the FBI had long been in contact with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and that the bombing was a set-up.

The FBI’s bizarre behavior grew more suspicious when CBS reported that initially the FBI denied it had any prior contact with the Tsarnaev’s. In their report, “CBS News: FBI Interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev 2 Years Ago,” CBS claimed:

CBS News reports although the FBI initially denied contacting Tsarnaev, the brothers’ mother said they had in an interview with Russia Today.

That interview with Russia Today, in an article titled, “‘They were set up, FBI followed them for years’- Tsarnaevs’ mother to RT,” stated of the suspects’ mother:

But her biggest suspicion surrounding the case was the constant FBI surveillance she said her family was subjected to over the years. She is surprised that having been so stringent with the entire family, the FBI had no idea the sons were supposedly planning a terrorist act.

She would say of the FBI to Russia Today:

“They used to come [to our] home, they used to talk to me…they were telling me that he [the older, 26-y/o Tamerlan] was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him. They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremist sites… they were controlling him, they were controlling his every step…and now they say that this is a terrorist act! Never ever is this true, my sons are innocent!”

The FBI would finally recant its earlier denial, and disclose on April 19, 2013 in an official statement on FBI.gov that indeed, they had been in contact with Tamerlan Tsarnaev as early as 2011:

The two individuals believed to be responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday have been positively identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, now deceased, and Dzhokar Tsarnaev, now in custody. These individuals are brothers and residents of Massachusetts. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a legal permanent resident and Dzhokar Tsarnaev is a naturalized U.S. citizen. Charges have not yet been filed against Dzhokar Tsarnaev and he is presumed innocent.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, age 26, was previously designated as Suspect 1, wearing a black hat. Dzhokar A. Tsarnaev, age 19, was designated as Suspect 2, wearing a white hat. Both were born in Kyrgyzstan.

Once the FBI learned the identities of the two brothers today, the FBI reviewed its records and determined that in early 2011, a foreign government asked the FBI for information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The request stated that it was based on information that he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.

In response to this 2011 request, the FBI checked U.S. government databases and other information to look for such things as derogatory telephone communications, possible use of online sites associated with the promotion of radical activity, associations with other persons of interest, travel history and plans, and education history. The FBI also interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev and family members. The FBI did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign, and those results were provided to the foreign government in the summer of 2011. The FBI requested but did not receive more specific or additional information from the foreign government.

However, the case was not “closed.” Additional evidence would reveal that the FBI had been warned again, just 6 months before the Boston bombings by Russian investigators. The FBI was told Tamerlan Tsarnaev had visited Russia and was in contact with known-terrorists operating in and around Chechnya. Somehow, this additional information “escaped” the FBI’s April 19, 2013 public statement.

The British Daily Mail in their article titled, “Russia asked FBI to investigate bomber just 6 MONTHS ago after being spotted with ‘a militant’ on trip to Dagestan: Was it this known terrorist who Boston killer liked on YouTube?,” would state:

Speculation is growing that one of the Boston bombers met a known Jihadist terrorist in 2011 – as it emerged the FBI failed to follow up on a Russian tip that he was seen with an Islamic militant six times.

The Daily Mail would also report that:

The FBI has confirmed that Russia alerted the agency in 2011 that Tsarnaev had ties to ‘radical Islam’ groups in his homeland. Homeland Security sources have also revealed the agency received tips in 2012 about his ties to extremists connected to a Boston mosque.

In the wake of the FBI’s serial lies, yet more evidence is coming to light of now not only the FBI’s increasingly entangled relationship with the suspects prior to the bombing, but the CIA’s role as well. In the New York Times article, “2 U.S. Agencies Added Boston Bomb Suspect to Watch Lists,” it was reported that:

Despite being told in 2011 that an F.B.I. review had found that a man who went on to become one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings had no ties to extremists, the Russian government asked the Central Intelligence Agency six months later for whatever information it had on him, American officials said Wednesday.
After its review, the C.I.A. also told the Russian intelligence service that it had no suspicious information on the man, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a shootout with the police early last Friday. It is not clear what prompted the Russians to make the request of the C.I.A.
The upshot of the American inquiries into Mr. Tsarnaev’s background was that even though he was found to have no connections to extremist groups, his name was entered into two different United States government watch lists in late 2011 that were designed to alert the authorities if he traveled overseas.

Therefore, in addition to first denying, then confirming having interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 and never mentioning the now confirmed warning by Russia just 6 months ago, the FBI and CIA also put Tsarnaev on at least 2 terrorist watch lists. Inexplicably, the FBI would have the public believe they found no evidence of terrorist activity, but then put Tsarnaev’s name on 2 separate terrorist watch lists anyway – and still somehow failed to prevent the Boston bombings. Clearly, that doesn’t add up.

Evidence Points to Tsarnaev as CIA Asset 

While the establishment media predictably attempts to make the serial lies told by the FBI, and both FBI and CIA’s involvement and foreknowledge of the suspects years before the Boston attacks, appear to be just an innocent bureaucratic foul-up, former-FBI translator Sibel Edmonds reported in incredible detail what most likely transpired, even before revelations of the CIA’s involvement became public.

In a 45 minute interview on the Corbett Report, Edmonds explained that multiple warnings by Russian investigators to the FBI were likely ignored because the CIA was in all probability using Tamerlan Tsarnaev as an asset to travel to Russia’s Caucasus region and make contact with US-backed terrorists.

It is a long-documented fact that the United States has extensively backed terrorists operating in Russia’s Caucasus region.

It is clear that at the very least, the FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and other federal agencies knew well ahead of time of Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and did nothing to prevent him from allegedly carrying out an attack. Understanding the insidious behavior of both the FBI and CIA, opens up a second and more troubling possibility – that the FBI and/or the CIA were directly involved in the Boston bombings themselves, using the Tsarnaev brothers as patsies.

Regardless of which is true – there is more than enough evidence currently to remove the FBI from the Boston bombing investigation and open an immediate and urgent inquiry into both the FBI and CIA’s involvement and criminal improprieties in the lead up to the attacks.

There is also enough evidence for the American people to realize they have exchanged for the past decade, their liberty and dignity for safety and clearly have been left none of the above. It is also now clear that the American people possess the moral imperative to seize back their liberties and to throw off this expansive, ineffectual, stifling, incompetent and/or criminal federal security apparatus – from the DHS and TSA, to the FBI and CIA – who despite receiving billions annually and nearly limitless authority failed utterly to prevent the Boston Marathon bombings, and in fact appear to have played a central role in facilitating them.

 ….

Further Reading: For more information on US sponsorship of terrorism in Russia, read: “Barbarians at the Gate: Terrorism, the US, and the Subversion of Russia.” For more information on the FBI’s history of handing “terror suspects” weapons and live explosives, read: “FBI Casting Set Stage for Boston Marathon Bombing, Shootout, Charade.”

NY Times: FBI Hatches Terror Plots

NYT reports in 2012 FBI’s habit of fabricating terror attacks to make high-profile arrests – now Boston suspects’ family claims sons were led every step of the way by the FBI. 

Tony Cartalucci

landdestroyer.blogspot.com

April 21, 2013 (LD) – In an April 2012 New York Times article titled, “Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.,” it is revealed that many of the high-profile terror attacks foiled by the FBI, were in fact fabricated from start to finish by the FBI itself. The article states:

The United States has been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years — or so it has seemed. A would-be suicide bomber was intercepted on his way to the Capitol; a scheme to bomb synagogues and shoot Stinger missiles at military aircraft was developed by men in Newburgh, N.Y.; and a fanciful idea to fly explosive-laden model planes into the Pentagon and the Capitol was hatched in Massachusetts.

But all these dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naïvely played their parts until they were arrested.

The report would also reveal that a fabricated, then foiled attack in Portland in 2010, even included a van and an inert bomb parked next to a real crowd of thousands during the city’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony:

When an Oregon college student, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, thought of using a car bomb to attack a festive Christmas-tree lighting ceremony in Portland, the F.B.I. provided a van loaded with six 55-gallon drums of “inert material,” harmless blasting caps, a detonator cord and a gallon of diesel fuel to make the van smell flammable. An undercover F.B.I. agent even did the driving, with Mr. Mohamud in the passenger seat. To trigger the bomb the student punched a number into a cellphone and got no boom, only a bust.

Indeed, the only missing ingredient separating Portland from Boston, was the FBI’s decision of what to fill the 55-gallon drums with. (For more details on other FBI cases, see: FBI’s History of Handing “Terror Suspects” Live Explosives)

The NYT piece continues, describing how the FBI picks its targets:

Typically, the stings initially target suspects for pure speech — comments to an informer outside a mosque, angry postings on Web sites, e-mails with radicals overseas — then woo them into relationships with informers, who are often convicted felons working in exchange for leniency, or with F.B.I. agents posing as members of Al Qaeda or other groups.

The article also explains how some targets “seem ambivalent, incompetent and adrift, like hapless wannabes looking for a cause that the informer or undercover agent skillfully helps them find.” Disturbingly, the NYT reports what appears to be the coaxing of one target toward violence they would otherwise never have considered:

“He was searching for answers within his Islamic faith,” said his lawyer, Clinton W. Calhoun III, who has appealed his conviction. “And this informant, I think, twisted that search in a really pretty awful way, sort of misdirected Cromitie in his search and turned him towards violence.”

A year after the NYT article was written, the Boston Marathon would be attacked by two explosive devices, killing three and injuring many more. The suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and brother Dzhokar Tsarnaev, would be announced by the FBI a day after a bizarre press conference cancellation and a security scare at the federal courthouse where a suspect was allegedly being brought.

An explanation for the FBI’s bizarre behavior may be owed to the fact that it now turns out that at least one of the suspects in the Boston bombing had caught the attention of Russian investigators in 2011 who then contacted the FBI to investigate the matter. The FBI would indeed interview Tamerlan Tsarnaev, several family members, and conduct investigations into Tsarnaev’s background, phone conversations, and Internet activity. This was all finally disclosed on April 19, 2013 in an official statement that can be found on FBI.gov:

The two individuals believed to be responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday have been positively identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, now deceased, and Dzhokar Tsarnaev, now in custody. These individuals are brothers and residents of Massachusetts. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a legal permanent resident and Dzhokar Tsarnaev is a naturalized U.S. citizen. Charges have not yet been filed against Dzhokar Tsarnaev and he is presumed innocent.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, age 26, was previously designated as Suspect 1, wearing a black hat. Dzhokar A. Tsarnaev, age 19, was designated as Suspect 2, wearing a white hat. Both were born in Kyrgyzstan.

Once the FBI learned the identities of the two brothers today, the FBI reviewed its records and determined that in early 2011, a foreign government asked the FBI for information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The request stated that it was based on information that he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.

In response to this 2011 request, the FBI checked U.S. government databases and other information to look for such things as derogatory telephone communications, possible use of online sites associated with the promotion of radical activity, associations with other persons of interest, travel history and plans, and education history. The FBI also interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev and family members. The FBI did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign, and those results were provided to the foreign government in the summer of 2011. The FBI requested but did not receive more specific or additional information from the foreign government.

The FBI’s bizarre behavior grew more suspicious when CBS reported that initially the FBI denied it had any prior contact with the Tsarnaev’s. In their report, “CBS News: FBI Interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev 2 Years Ago,” CBS claimed:

CBS News reports although the FBI initially denied contacting Tsarnaev, the brothers’ mother said they had in an interview with Russia Today.

That interview with Russia Today, in an article titled, “‘They were set up, FBI followed them for years’- Tsarnaevs’ mother to RT,” stated of the suspects’ mother:

But her biggest suspicion surrounding the case was the constant FBI surveillance she said her family was subjected to over the years. She is surprised that having been so stringent with the entire family, the FBI had no idea the sons were supposedly planning a terrorist act.

She would say of the FBI to Russia Today:

“They used to come [to our] home, they used to talk to me…they were telling me that he [the older, 26-y/o Tamerlan] was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him. They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremist sites… they were controlling him, they were controlling his every step…and now they say that this is a terrorist act! Never ever is this true, my sons are innocent!”

Additionally, the suspects’ uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, told NBC news in an article titled, “Uncle: Mentors ‘radicalized’ older Boston bombing suspect,” that:

“I strongly believe they were just puppets and executors of something of bigger scale.”

“There certainly were mentors. I was shocked when I heard his words, his phrases, when every other word he starts sticking in words of God. I question what he’s doing for work, (and) he claimed he would just put everything in the will of God. It was a big concern to me. He called me ‘confused’ when I started explaining to him, make yourself useful to yourself and to your family and maybe you’ll have extra to share with everybody else.

“It wasn’t devotion, it was something, as it’s called, being radicalized. Not understanding what he is talking (about). He is just using words for the sake of the words and not understanding the meaning of it.’’

Perhaps, these two young suspects were “looking for a cause,” that an “informer or undercover agent skillfully helped them find.”

Clearly now, it is confirmed by the FBI itself, in an official statement found on their website, that they did indeed contacted the suspect and his family. The FBI also claims it, “did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign,”  but clearly there must have been some evidence of at least some “pure speech — comments to an informer outside a mosque, angry postings on Web sites, e-mails with radicals overseas.”

The FBI refuses to elaborate on the case, prompting even journalists across the mainstream media to ask important questions. Business Insider’s article, “The FBI Needs To Explain Why It Failed To Monitor Boston Bombing Suspect Despite A Clear Warning,” asks the following questions:

  • Given the explicit warning, why didn’t the FBI continue to monitor Tsarnaev?
  • Why didn’t the FBI follow up with the foreign government when it didn’t get the additional information it requested?
  • How common is a warning from a foreign government about a specific person like this? Does the FBI get thousands of them?
  • What made the FBI effectively clear Tsarnaev — and what might the FBI change  to avoid making this mistake again?
  • Will the FBI conduct a full investigation into what happened?

The answer to these questions may help answer what transpired between 2011 when the FBI allegedly closed the case, and the 2013 bombings – including answering whether or not the Tsarnaev brothers were part of yet another FBI entrapment. Perhaps such suspicion may seem unwarranted, after all, despite the FBI fabricating terror attacks, they averted them before being carried out…

But at least one undercover operation, in 1993, was carried out to deadly effect. FBI agents, according to the New York Times, were indeed overseeing the bombers that detonated a device killing six and wounding many more at the World Trade Center. In their article, “Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast,” NYT reported:

Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer said after the blast.

The informer was to have helped the plotters build the bomb and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off by an F.B.I. supervisor who had other ideas about how the informer, Emad A. Salem, should be used, the informer said.

The account, which is given in the transcript of hundreds of hours of tape recordings Mr. Salem secretly made of his talks with law-enforcement agents, portrays the authorities as in a far better position than previously known to foil the Feb. 26 bombing of New York City’s tallest towers. The explosion left six people dead, more than 1,000 injured and damages in excess of half a billion dollars.

Can the FBI then, be ruled out as a prime suspect or accomplice in the Boston blasts? And isn’t it monumental folly to allow the FBI to investigate a crime they may have played a central role in? Raising suspicions further was the decision made not to read the lone surviving suspect his Miranda rights. While US President Barack Obama, the Justice Department and Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham claim such a disgraceful violation of American law is required for “security,” it seems more likely that it is instead needed to enhance a desperate coverup.

And if 10 years of war, torture, indefinite detention without trial, and the creation and expansion of the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI’s Joint Terror Task Force, the TSA, and other federal agencies couldn’t prevent the Boston bombings, why does the President, DOJ, and two Republican Senators believe suspending the rights of a suspect will in any way make America safer? A better question is, why do we the people continue to let them make these decisions?