As it turns out, the recent would-be underwear bomber at the center of a supposed Al Qaeda terrorist plot was actually an informant working for the CIA and the Saudi government. While the Obama administration used this news to claim how effective their anti-terrorism efforts have been, administration officials soon acknowledged that the plot was run by the CIA from the start and had never actually posed a threat.
According to a recent report by Mother Jones and the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California-Berkeley, the FBI “infiltrates communities where they suspect terrorist-minded individuals to be engaging with others. Regardless of their intentions, agents are sent in to converse within the community, find suspects that could potentially carry out ‘lone wolf’ attacks and then, more or less, encourage them to do so. By providing weaponry, funds and a plan, FBI-directed agents will encourage otherwise-unwilling participants to plot out terrorist attacks, only to bust them before any events fully materialize.”
By “thwarting” supposed terrorist plots on U.S. soil, and inflating the threat of terrorism, the agency involved not only has the opportunity to expand its budget among the 16 total intelligence agencies competing for funds, but it is used as a justification to expand policing and surveillance, restrictions on liberty, security theater, and the promotion of fear.
According to Jeremy Scahill’s reporting at The Nation, U.S. drone strikes in Yemen are creating far more terrorists than they kill, and are the primary source for the growth of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The first underwear-bomber plot was a direct response to Obama’s 2009 cluster-bombing of Yemen. Similarly, in 2010, Faisal Shahzad attempted to bomb Times Square as “payback” for the horror unleashed by U.S. drone strikes in Shahzad’s native Pakistan.