(NaturalNews) Dave Williams might have made some bad choices in his life that ultimately led to some jail time. But his greatest "crime," seems to have been manufactured by an overzealous federal agency looking to make some sort of "progress" in the war on terror.
Williams, who grew up poor in the small, gritty New York town of Newburgh, had already served time on a drug rap when he and three other local men were arrested in May 2009 on charges they plotted to blow up Jewish synagogues and purchase anti-aircraft missiles to shoot down military planes.
Oddly enough, however, the weapons didn't come from some deep, dark terrorist organization. No, they were provided by none other than the F.B.I. who, through a paid informant, set up a so-called "terror" plot they themselves were then able to take down - and take credit for busting up.
Lawyers for Williams and his three "co-conspirators" agree that, were it not for the F.B.I. creating this so-called plot out of thin air, none of the men would be in jail and, in fact, there would have been no plot at all.
It seems, on the surface at least, to be a classic case of entrapment, and some of the legal experts who have examined the facts of the case are shaking their heads. "The target, the motive, the ideology and the plot were all led by the FBI," Karen Greenberg, a law professor at Fordham University in New York, who specializes in studying the new FBI tactics, told the London Guardian newspaper.
"We have as close to a legal entrapment case as I have ever seen," adds Susanne Brody, who is representing another Newburgh defendant, Onta Williams.
The sting of the "Newburgh Four" is not unique. Instead of responding to, or attempting to thwart, actual terrorist plots, the F.B.I. seems to be manufacturing cases. The agency is busy sending informants into Muslim communities to talk of radical Islam and to see who bites on the bait. Even the judge in this case, Colleen McMahon, said when the men were finally sentenced that "there would never have been any case of the government had not made one up."
A similar circumstance involves five men accused of plotting to attack U.S. soldiers outside Fort Dix, N.J. "That case too involved dubious use of paid informants, an apparent over-reach of evidence and a plot that seemed suggested by the government," said the Guardian.
But the F.B.I scheming hasn't ended with the Newburgh Four. Now, new charges have surfaced that the agency is using is outreach programs to "secretly collect and store information about activities protected by the First Amendment for intelligence purposes," the A.C.L.U. alleges.
Among the activities the A.C.L.U. found in documents released by the F.B.I. under the Freedom of Information Act. Agents who attended Ramadan Iftar dinners under the guise of the FBI's mosque outreach program in San Francisco in 2007 and 2008 documented "participant names, conversations and presentations."
In 2009, agents participating in a career day sponsored by an Assyrian community organization in San Jose, Calif., "detailed conversations with three community leaders and members about their opinions, backgrounds and charitable activities."
Also in San Jose in 2007, agents identified each person by name and organization and "demographics" at a mosque outreach meeting attended by 50 people representing 27 Muslim community and religious organizations. These cases beg the question: Doesn't the F.B.I. have enough to do chasing down and preventing legitimate terrorism cases without manufacturing them?