Saturday, December 09, 2006

Something doesn't feel right here.

A man was arrested in Illinois for planning a terror attack. The first reports I saw said the man was planning to blow up the Cherry Valley shopping mall filled with Christmas shoppers. Truly a horrific idea. Associated Press said he was a "Muslic convert who talked about his desire to wage jihad against civilians". They quoted an FBI agent, Robert Grant saying, "He fixed on a day of December 22nd... because it was the Friday before Christmas and thought that would be the highest concentration of shoppers that he could kill and injure." The report said he had other "potential targests" including a judge.

Of course the man, Derrick Shareef, 22, was arrested.

But here is what is troubling.

The man was arrested on the information of an informant. And it was the informant, not Shareef, who came up with most the ideas! The Chicago Tribune reports "Many elements of Shareef's alleged plot, including the idea to attack the mail, came from the informant" according to the charges filed in court.

The FBI says the public was never in danger and that Shareef "never had any weapons or the money to obtain them."

A wire tap of a conversation between Shareef and the "informant" shows that Shareef was obsessed with judges. He told the informant "I just want to smoke a judge." In other words that would be plotting murder not terrorism. It was the informant who then, one day later, suggested to Shareef that instead he attack a shopping mall. "I mean, all right, we gotta look at it this way, we want to disrupt Christmas." It was then that Shareef supposedly said: "Oh, hell yeah, the mall is where it's at."

So Shareef wants to kill a judge and someone working for the FBI suggests a terrorist attack instead. He makes the case for the terrorist attack and when Shareef agrees he is arrested for plotting a terror attack. He may have agreed to go along with it but if this report is accurate he didn't plot it. And he never had the means to carry it out.

Why did the informant wait a day before suggesting the mall bombing instead? Could it be that the FBI suggested it to him after listening to the first conversation. And the press reports that Shareef tried to trade stereo speakers with an "undercover federal agent" for grenades. How did Shareef get the idea of grenades? Was it the informant? Was it the informant who suggested he meet the undercover agent? Exactly what did Shareef plan himself?

Originally he wanted to kill a judge. The term "smoke someone" sounds to me like he intended to shoot the judge. Instead the plan is diverted by the man working for the FBI to a shopping mall with grenades. As the paper reports: "Under the law, grenades are considered weapons of mass destruction." Was it that the FBI merely had one man wanting to shoot one judge and that they turned it into something resembling a terror attack? It sure sounds that way to me.