An alleged ISIS-inspired plot to bomb the U.S. Capitol was in fact almost wholly contrived by the FBI, fitting the pattern of previous domestic terror threats, the vast majority of which have been cooked up by the federal agency.
Authorities say 20-year-old Christopher Lee Cornell planned to detonate pipe bombs and then fire on fleeing lawmakers and employees, but his family assert that the young man was never capable of coordinating or funding such a conspiracy on his own.
Cornell’s father, John Cornell Sr., told ABC News that his son was “just a typical kid,” called his mother “mommy” and had a cat for a best friend.
When Cornell began tweeting out support for ISIS under the name “Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah,” he attracted the attention of the FBI. While it seems almost certain that the 20-year-old was just a loner making idiotic comments on the Internet, federal authorities saw an opportunity and set up a meeting with an FBI informant in Cincinnati over two days in October.
“They were taking him somewhere, and they were filling his head with a lot of this garbage,” said Cornell’s father, who disputes the claim that his son bought two semi-automatic rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition from a store in Ohio, noting that he only had $1200 in his bank account and the guns alone would have cost almost $2000.
“Where did that money come from? Well, it came from the FBI,” John Cornell Sr. said. “They set him up.”
The media portrayal of Cornell’s motives also serves to demonize those who have been vocal critics of how the war on terror has served to bolster the size of government to unprecedented levels.
We learn that Cornell voiced “distrust of the government and the media,” that he “didn’t pay attention to the news because he thought it was all propaganda” and that he thought “presidential elections were controlled by a secret society.” Cornell also expressed doubts about the official story behind 9/11.
Lawmakers immediately seized on the alleged plot to justify a continuation of NSA surveillance and call for more power in the name of fighting terror.
Cornell’s apparent entrapment and radicalization by the FBI fits the pattern of the federal agency contriving the very terror plots it then takes the credit for busting. As the New York Times reported in 2012, the vast majority of domestic terror plots in recent years were “facilitated by the F.B.I.”
“The agency does not disrupt planned domestic terror attacks but rather creates them, then publicly praises itself for stopping its own plots,” writes Glenn Greenwald.
With the threat of ISIS attacks on the United States a growing menace – largely as a result of the White House’s role in destabilizing Syria, which created thousands of new potential terrorists now returning to their home countries in the west – the FBI should be directing all its resources to stopping actual terror plots instead of creating them itself.