Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Surprise! Maryland Jihadist "Entrapped" by FBI, Says His Lawyer

He was grinning from ear to ear when he uttered, "Allahu Akbar" and then tried to detonate a car bomb to blow up a military recruiting station in a Maryland shopping center last Wednesday.

But the FBI, who had gotten wind of Muhammad Hussain's plan to be one of the "mujaheddin" [Islamic fundamentalist jihadists], had supplied him with a fake bomb. Then, after he tried to blow up a recruiting station, they arrested him.

At Hussain's detention hearing yesterday, his defense lawyer, Joseph Balter, needed help wringing out his sopping handkerchief: Poor widdle Muhammad Hussain! He got "entrapped" by the nasty, mean FBI!

What Hussain's lawyer didn't ask was, "Why did the nasty, mean FBI pretend to be Hussain's brothers in jihad? Why did they pretend to help Hussain instead of just waiting for some real jihadists to show up and give Hussain the assistance he was looking for?"

Joseph Balter knows that most Americans have figured out the answer to that--but not all, and that's what he is depending on in his attempt to free Muhammed Hussein.

Some Americans, a judge or a member of a jury perhaps, might bring their crying towel to Hussain's trial, with the result that his client is back out on the street in record time, and maybe even jetting to a terrorist training camp somewhere in the Middle East soon after that. After all, less than a month ago, a Manhattan judge and a juror couldn't find it in their hearts to convict Ahmed Ghailani, a long-term terrorist and good buddy of Osama bin Ladin, of even one count of murder, even though he had participated in American embassy bombings that killed 224 people and injured more than 4,000 others.

From the Washington Post:
Antonio Martinez, 21, who recently converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Hussain, is accused of trying to kill members of the military whom he saw as a threat to Muslims. The FBI learned of Martinez's intentions through an informant, joined the plot and supplied him with a fake car bomb that he tried to detonate, authorities said.

Antonio Martinez, aka Muhammad Hussain
Prosecutors portrayed Martinez as a man who was determined to cause as much harm as possible and sees himself as a holy warrior. But defense attorney Joseph Balter said his client was "incapable" of carrying out an attack on his own, failed when he tried to recruit confederates to join him and was caught in a "government sting operation."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Manuelian said that after his arrest, Martinez admitted his role in the bomb plot and said it was his idea. She said he told agents that he parked the sport-utility vehicle that contained the bomb close to the front of the recruiting center where he thought a blast would cause the most harm.
Balter said that Martinez, a former Prince George's County public school student who did construction work, might have talked about firearms or bombs but that there was no indication that he "had any ability to carry out any plan."
Balter neglected to mention that his client had been charged with armed robbery when he was 16 years old, and that he had been convicted of theft when he was 18.
"Clearly, on the face of these charges is a very legitimate issue as to whether the government entrapped Mr. Hussain," Balter said. "They induced him to be involved in an act that was clearly the design of the government."
Balter also failed to mention that his client posted on his Facebook page: "Any 1 who opposes ALLAH and HIS Prophet Peace.Be.upon.Him I Hate u with all my heart."
Magistrate Judge Susan K. Gauvey, who considered only whether Martinez could be released pending trial, ordered that he be held. She said the defense arguments about entrapment are "an issue for another day."

Manuelian said Martinez and the informant planned to video the explosion after he detonated the bomb from a site within eyeshot of the Catonsville, Md., recruiting station.

"We are not criminals," she said Martinez said into the camera. "We are mujaheddin."
"We are mujaheddin." Muhammad Hussain clearly regards himself as an enemy combatant and his bombing attempt as an act of war. In time, we'll find out whether a judge and jury agree.


  1. I am mixed on these trials.

    I do think the government is giving material support these people would not otherwise get, so in a way, they are escalating the "crime" the Muslim plans on perpetrating. Plus, if you try and explode a fake bomb, you aren't really "bombing" anyone, a fake bomb is not a real bomb.

    God, I sound like a liberal, but I believe in our justice system, and I believe a law is black and white - I don't know what he is being charged for, but in my opinion, it can't be for trying to blow up people if the bomb was never real to begin with.

    On a different note, I have actually been in that recruiting station.

  2. @fleeceme-

    I appreciate your argument, but surely this guy can be charged with conspiracy to commit his act of terrorism. It does seem that his search for accomplices is what brought him to the FBI's attention in the first place.

    I am troubled by my lack of knowledge about how the courts historically have dealt with U.S. citizens attempting to conduct guerrilla warfare on the U.S. military.

    As far as my thinking takes me, it is the fact that U.S. citizens who consider themselves to be enemy combatants are being tried in civilian courts as civilian criminals: that's where the distinction between black and white gets grayed out.

    In war, there is considerably less room to wait for someone to commit the act of war (a bombing, say), which typically is much more destructive than what we usually think of as a crime (a robbery or a shooting, usually of one person).

    The FBI is acting in that gray area, attempting to keep Americans alive while at the same time sending the message to terrorist wanna-be's that looking for ways to blow up Americans is not taken lightly.

    It is a mess, but I'm for erring on the side of caution. It is very, very dangerous to wait for terrorist types to commit real mayhem on real people before taking action.

  3. Ok, if a FBI agent contacts me and start talking to me about blowing something up, instead of standing outside with a video camera yelling Allah Akbar weeks or months later, I would have called the police after the first conversation. The entrapment arguement holds no water for me whatsoever.

    If you actively engage in the criminal activity, you quite obviously have made the decision to be a criminal.

  4. Good point Quite Rightly, I didn't look at it that way. Once you determine to do a terrorist act, are you no longer a regular citizen? I would say yes.

    I fell ill of the typical progressive ploy, I looked at the debate from their premise.

    Once you decide to join the War on Terror on the side of the enemy, you are thusly an enemy combatant.