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Caution - FBI fit-ups of Muslim patsies in progress

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Meanwhile the US government has already scheduled professional witness Kohlmann for action in another terror trial this month.

This concerns Marwan el-Hindi, a naturalized American citizen. Along with two others, he stands accused of materially aiding terrorists in Toledo, Ohio. This case also looks dodgy, fitting a now established pattern in which a financially unsuccessful Muslim man is approached at a local mosque by a paid government informant who then works the target into an alleged sting plot aiding terrorism.

In this particular case, the plot was to train insurgents for Iraq. In the government's indictment of el-Hindi, the informant is a character in shadow known only as The Trainer. He has been revealed as Darren Griffin, an ex-military man who has been characterized as an entrapment specialist in dire financial straits by local newspaper reports. Also at the center of this case are alleged seditious materials from jihadist websites, a suicide bomb vest video which the government accuses el-Hindi of downloading and sending to the informant with the suggestion that recruits in Chicago be trained with it.

And here is where it gets sticky. Griffin had personal access to el-Hindi's computer and the defense has filed motion to compel the US government to produce all evidence gained from when the informant was on the defendant's computer. The implication is that the paid source engaged in a frame-up.

The Abu-jihaad verdict is just the latest in what has been a string of convictions of Muslim patsies and men of unfortunate means who appear to have been set up by a network of criminal paid informants in the employ of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force. None have appeared to have been serious threats, just people - at worst unlikeable and on the fringes of society - accused of concocting ridiculous plots, never apprehended with weapons or explosives which would be required for the crimes they're accused of and convicted on.

The benchmark was set by Jose Padilla, an incompetent petty criminal, driven half mad by incarceration, originally accused of being a potential dirty bomber, a charge which proved so ludicrous even the Bush administration was compelled to drop it.

This was followed by the conviction of Hamid Hayat, a man of diminished mental capability living in Lodi, California, his family targeted by the FBI because of the town's Pakistani community. In the Hayat case, the FBI employed an informant, Naseem Khan - paid to the tune of about a quarter of a million dollars, who testified that al Qaeda #2, Ayman al Zawahiri, had once been seen in Lodi.

In Albany, New York, Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain, the latter a pizza shop owner, were convicted in a case which was built upon another FBI sting operation; they were lured into a money-laundering operation/fake terror plot said to be for the financing of the sale of a shoulder-fired missile for the killing of a Pakistani diplomat in New York. The case has been viewed as another entrapment operation and that US government secret arguments given only to the judge and prosecution abridged the right to a fair trial for both men.

Hassan Abu-jihaad was probably not a terrorist threat, unless one considers being an inflammatory big mouth internationally terrorizing. He bought tasteless videos and sent careless e-mail. His one-time friend, Derrick Shareef, who pled guilty in another FBI sting, was so crazy and anile that his conversations with Abu-jihaad were ruled inadmissable in the latter's case. Both alleged terrorists were served by another of the FBI's entrapment men, William Chrisman, a former felon with multiple wives - a functional harem - and a stack of children to support.

If you're a Muslim, lower class, and attending mosque in the US, beware of bolt-out-of-the-blue new acquaintances who appear to be in your income bracket. Stung within an inch of its life by 9/11, seven years later the US government is conducting undercover search and destroy missions and it doesn't care if it gets civilians. It wants terrorists and it employs those eager to fit people for al Qaeda jackets on demand, cost being no object. ®

George Smith is a senior fellow at GlobalSecurity.org, a defense affairs think tank and public information group. At Dick Destiny, he blogs his way through chemical, biological, and nuclear terror hysteria, often by way of the contents of neighbourhood hardware stores.

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