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What Happens When the FBI Manufactures Terrorism?

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The FBI’s methods for rooting out and foiling terrorist plots have long been under scrutiny. However, the tactics they use have largely flown under the radar for the general population.

Yet, the Bureau’s involvement in concocting terrorist plots and other violent schemes only to arrest those involved has been an open secret over recent decades. This practice, which appears aimed more at justifying the agency’s existence and funding than protecting the public, raises serious ethical and legal questions – especially since such practice typically results in the violation of rights.

RedState’s Neil McCabe interviewed former FBI agent-turned-whistleblower Steve Friend about the recent news that the agency had arrested an Arizona man who was allegedly involved in a plot to start a race war. A Justice Department press release announced that Mark Adams Prieto was indicted for selling firearms to two undercover FBI agents who he believed were going to carry out a mass shooting to target black Americans and other racial minorities.


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“It follows the exact same pattern. It’s very cookie cutter,” Friend told RedState. “They find a vulnerable person…and they will entrap them into these schemes. That is universally done around the bureau at this point.”

Friend drew similarities to the federal government’s raid on the Ruby Ridge, Idaho, home of Randy Weaver and his family, which left his wife, son, and dog dead. The former agent indicated that even reading the press release can show how the Bureau could have entrapped Prieto.

“You can even see it from the press release, they say in conversations with these two people being agents or undercover, or most likely there's two of them, so it's most likely an undercover online employee and a confidential human source who sought out this guy online.

“They don’t even have to leave their desks. They might not even be in the same state, but they go, and they poke around online and find people that are saying things that they deem to be worthy of their attention.”

The Bureau took similar action in the supposed plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020. Subsequent investigations showed that FBI informants and agents played a disturbingly significant role in orchestrating and driving the scheme. “FBI operatives played a key role in the planning of the entire ordeal and were also seemingly instrumental in birthing the plot,” RedState’s Bonchie wrote.


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Naturally, the revelations that came out of this story raise questions about the Bureau’s motivations. Were they genuinely attempting to prevent a grievous crime, or were they trying to bolster their own reputation while pushing a political agenda?

The FBI has used similar tactics on leftists demonstrating against police brutality after George Floyd’s death. In the summer of 2020 in Denver, Colorado, the FBI enlisted the aid of Mickey Windecker, a convicted felon-turned-FBI snitch. As a paid informant, he infiltrated the protests, aligning himself with Black Lives Matter. His objective was to undermine the movement while goading some of its members into committing crimes, including a plot to assassinate the state’s attorney general.

An investigation showed that the Bureau paid Windecker over $20,000 to spy on the activists while inciting violence. The assassination plot fell through, but he did manage to convince one activist to purchase a firearm for him because he was prohibited from purchasing his own despite owning a hearse filled with guns.

These are only a few examples illustrating how the Bureau has operated for decades. Yet, despite the agency’s history of questionable entrapment practices, there has been a glaring lack of legislative action to rein in the Bureau. Its methods appear to be a clear violation of constitutional rights, but our lawmakers have done little to stop it.

As Friend articulated, “The demand for terrorism cases from the FBI vastly outstrips the supply of actual threats that occur in this country.” It seems that the agency has been concocting these plots to maintain a sense of relevancy. If they only went after legitimate threats, people might perceive that the Bureau is not as necessary as they would have us believe, given the lack of actual terrorist threats, domestic or foreign.

In recent years, the Justice Department has fearmongered about the possibility of terrorist activity coming from right-wing groups, which might explain why the FBI seemingly orchestrated the Whitmer plot and now, potentially, the Prieto case.

The lack of accountability in this issue will only continue to empower corrupt elements in the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies. The hard truth here is that the reason why lawmakers are not taking this seriously is because their constituents are not pushing them in that direction. This could possibly be because most Americans do not know about the Bureau’s unethical and possibly illegal practices.

Nevertheless, when corrupt government officials know they will not face accountability, there is no reason for them to be transparent. Unfortunately, this will keep happening as long as we remain silent.

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