Michael C. Finton, aka "Talib Islam", seems like the type who might have been an able foot soldier in a plot organized by non-morons. But left to his own devices his lack of operational secrecy somewhat undermined his endeavors.
According to the FBI release, after the Bureau learned of Finton's apparent interest in becoming a jihadi, the Bureau learned he was on parole and contacted his parole officer to find a parole violation that would allow them to search his home.
Agents found what seems to have amounted to a small literary shrine to John Walker Lindh. And then after Finton was released from jail, in a January 2008 interview with the FBI, Finton explained that he idolized Lindh. Faced with this evidence that Finton not only had an interest in becoming a terrorist but was also an easy mark, agents preceded to draw him into his own private terrorist plot that led this week to his arrest.
It makes perfect sense for the FBI to look for and try to roll up people looking to blow up buildings in the US. But these anti-terrorism cases are certainly more comforting when the would-be terrorists turn out to have been in league -- pretty much from the word go -- with government informants rather [than] actual operatives the government has never heard of.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Wanted: Non-Moron Terrorists
Josh Marshall sez: