I saw the headline on Drudge Report. “Man plotting holiday terror attack against Illinois mall arrested”, it said. An early MSNBC news report (I think Pete Williams broke the story) said that the man was a “lone wolf.” Then I returned to Drudge. His blurb referred to the accused as “Derrick Shareef.” Minutes later, the site was updated, now referring to the individual as “Talib Abu Salam Ibn Shareef.” Fortunately, Drudge also provided a link to the affidavit, which is a lucid, revealing document.
First, it refers to the accused as “Derrick Shareef,” and states he is also known as, “Talib Abu Salam Ibn Shareef.” He is subsquently referred to as “Shareef” – as in “Derrick Shareef.” Drudge, unlike Fox News, saw it better fit choose the secondary name for the accused, not the primary name used by the FBI agent and affidavit author, Jared Ruddy. Why? Most likely because it appears more “Islamic.” The primary name makes the individual, an African American, seem like too familiar, or even like a professional athlete. The secondary name makes him seem more like a terrorist. It makes the story ‘sexier’. Shareef is not simply a big-talking, angry and anti-Semitic criminal, according to Drudge’s framing of the story; no, despite being a “lone-wolf style terrorist,” Drudge suggests that the accused is part of the ‘global jihad’ against America.
Next, the affidavit provides much of the background for how Shareef became a concern for the FBI. There are also glaring gaps in it.
“Beginning in September 2006, SHAREEF became acquainted with an individual in Rockford, Illinois. During the course of their acquaintance, SHAREEF advised this individual that he (SHAREEF) wanted to commit acts of violent jihad against targets in the United States as well as commit other crimes in order to obtain funds to further his (SHAREEF’s) goals of violent jihad. Unbeknownst to SHAREEF, his acquaintance (“CS”) was cooperating with the FBI. [FN1: The CS has provided credible and reliable information to FBI in the past which has been corroborated through various means including surveillance and the review of taped conversations.] During their acquaintance, SHAREEF advises the CS that he (SHAREEF) wanted to obtain weapons to commit violent jihad. The CS advised SHAREEF that he (the CS) had a friend who was able to obtain weapons and that he (the CS) would introduce SHAREEF to the friend. In fact, the CS’s purported friend was an undercover law enforcement agent (“UCA”).”
The document is an affidavit, not a novel, but it jumps from the emergence of an acquaintanceship between the accused and the “confidential source” (identified as “CS”) to Shareef mentioning to CS his alleged desire to commit “acts of violent jihad against targets in the United States” and do some other crimes to support his primary goal. Those crimes, by the way, are never mentioned. It then says that Shareef didn’t know that CS “was cooperating with the FBI.”
The affidavit strongly suggests that CS was an FBI informant (or whatever his status is with the FBI or law enforcement) prior to when Shareef allegedly told him (CS) of his terror plans, and possibly even before he met Shareef.
It begets many questions.
Who is CS? How and why did he meet Shareef? Is CS an FBI informant? Is this the only case on which he has helped the FBI? Or does he have a broader relationship with it?
What are his links to the Muslim community in Rockford, IL? Is he even a Muslim? What is his ethnic background? African American, Arab, White, or South Asian?
How and why did he come into contact with Shareef? Did their acquaintanceship begin without links to the FBI, or was CS’s befriending of Shareef precipitated solely by interest in Shareef as a potential terrorist? Was CS ‘fishing’ for ‘terrorists’ and saw Shareef responsive to his bait? Or did federal authorities alert CS to Shareef, and make specific requests for him to engage with the latter? If Shareef was on the FBI’s radar prior to CS’s meeting with him, then why and how?
Again, what is CS’s relationship with the local Muslim community? Is he a regular community member? A leader? Or an outlier/someone brought in from elsewhere tasked with ‘fishing’ for potential ‘terrorists’ in the local Muslim community? If so, do similar programs exist elswhere?
Was CS’s role in this matter preventative or productive? In other words, was his task to seek out those intent on murdering innocent Americans, or to help surface latent or semi-latent inclinations toward supporting, calling for, and/or plotting terror? Was CS an informant or an agent provacateur?
Continuing with the affidavit’s narrative, Shareef tells CS that he wants weapons to commit terror. CS tells him that he will hook him up with his friend, a ‘dealer’. The dealer, or “CS’s purported friend” is actually an undercover law enforcement agent (UCA).
Why did Shareef talk to CS about his alleged desire to “commit acts of violent jihad against targets in the United States?” How did this conversation come about? What precipitated it? Who initiated it? Shareef or CS? Was it the product of related conversation matter between Shareef and CS? Were they, for example, talking about the conditions of Muslims in the U.S. or around the world? Did CS do anything to steer the conversation in this direction, to produce these remarks from Shareef? Was this intentional or not? Why would Shareef say something like this to CS? What was so special about CS that Shareef decided to tell him about his alleged desire to commit acts of terror? Did Shareef speak to some/many/all people in this manner? Or did he see CS as potentially being particularly receptive to such an idea? Did CS intentionally work to cultivate this impression? What was the specific context of Shareef’s comments? Would they have occured without perhaps CS making some essential pre-comments?
Next, the affidavit states that in a subsequent recorded conversation in November 2006�suggesting that the initial conversation(s) were not recorded, and that, some time from September to November, it was decided that conversations with Shareef should be taped�that CS brought up with Shareef the issue of his (Shareef’s) alleged earlier comments.
CS says to Shareef, “when you were talking to me earlier, you seemed really upset.” Shareef responds, “I was already upset from previous things.” CS replies, “So, what do you want to do? I was thinking about it upstairs.”
Questions. Very interesting. It is CS who brings up the previous conversation. He describes Shareef as being “really upset” then, meaning he is not upset now. Shareef says that he was “already upset from previous things.” What “previous things?” Personal? Political? Religious? At this point, we’re in some ambiguous territory. It is unclear as to whether CS is trying to reveal not-so-latent inclinations toward terror in Shareef, or whether he is actively involved in the production of Shareef as a terror plotter.
Shareef continues. Then Shareef allegedly replies to CS’s question asking what he wants to do, “A target?…I want some type of city hall-type stuff right now, federal court houses.” What the? Is he talking about real estate investment? What does he mean by “right now?” He’s in the mood for bombing city hall-type places now? Maybe a town hall-type place another day?
CS replies, “I didn’t know how serious you are, ’cause I gotta know…” In addition to reminding Shareef about his previous angry expression of violent intentions, CS states that Shareef’s “serious[ness]”, i.e. dedication, perhaps even piety, hasn’t been established. He’s asking him for evidence. He says he’s “gotta know.”
And so Shareef then gets more aggressive. He says:
No, hell no, I don’t talk calm when it comes to this. I’m talking about stuff that’s like, …’cause man the courthouse in DeKalb where I be going every month them niggers do weak as hell. You go in there and you clock the first three niggers at the door that they got, and you up in there, you know what I’m saying? And everything else is gonna have to be tactical. But when you dealing with stuff like that, the courthouse, there’s always a PD [police department] right down the block. Know what I’m saying? I just want to smoke a judge.”
The anger allegedly expressed the other day returns. And it is precipitated � in fact, seems to be goaded on � by CS. Though, if accurate, Shareef’s words reveal what he is: a thug. He visits the courthouse every month. Why? He regularly volunteers for jury duty? I can hear Warren G’s remake of “I Shot the Sherriff” playing in the background. Shareef is a criminal who wants to “smoke a judge” and “click the first three niggers at the [courthouse] door.” His reason for wanting to target the courthouse? Not sure. Perhaps it has to do with him being required to visit it regularly. Is Shareef a parolee? His comments reflect an anger at the judicial system and the strong possibility that he has been punished by it.
After getting Shareef riled up, CS then asks Shareef, “When you wanna plan on doing this? Because we have to make specific plans and dates, time.” We are on our way out of ambiguous territory. What is CS doing? Is he trying to gage whether Shareef will follow through with the “plans” he allegedly expressed earlier and get as many details as possible? Or is he helping organize and direct Shareef’s angry, bombastic, and random statements? If so, why?
Shareef follows, “Well, I wanna case one first, we can case one when you get the car back.” What car? Apparently, CS had a car, while Shareef seems to be carless and dependent on CS.
Then, CS asks again about a time frame. Shareef�he’s speaking in November, btw�says, “I like the holiday season.” He speaks not with a sense of mission as much as a sense of a luxury of choices. His preferences are important, or he feels it to be critical that he express his “plans” in the form of preferences. If you recall, Shareef says, that he “want[s] some type of city hall-type stuff right now,” and that he “want[s] to smoke a judge.” And so he “like[s] the holiday season” as well. Shareef is being passive at this point. He is expressing random preferences in response to the directional questioning of CS. At this point, Shareef isn’t taking the lead, stating objectives, evaluating targets, and detailing tactics on his own.
On his own, Shareef lacks focus. He now says, “You gotta do stuff, hell we ain’t gotta hit nobody, just blow the place up. You gotta do stuff under severe weather conditions. That helps too. Doing stuff in the snow, rain because you see less pigs out there. That’s tactical.”
He seems to have changed his mind. Initially, he wanted to hit a city hall-type place and/or “smoke a judge.” Now he simply wants to “blow the place up.” The specific places is unclear. It could be the courthouse mentioned earlier, or one of the locations mentioned later when he says, “I’m thinking stuff like courthouses, city hall, government places, government facilities.” What is clear is at this point, Shareef has shifted from wanting to kill people to wanting to blow up government buildings in a time in which they’ll be mostly/completely empty.
After this, CS asks Shareef, “So, you serious?” Note, CS does not say, “So, are you serious?” His styling of the question, without the interrogative “are” suggests that he trying to present himself, or actually is, thuggish/urban/ghetto, or whatever. Shareef replies, “I’m serious…” All we are provided with are the first two words of Shareef’s sentence. But it seems to becoming clearer that CS is not simply gaging Shareef’s intent. He is guiding him along a desired path. Asking Shareef whether he’s “serious” or not seems to be questioning Shareef’s manhood and/or Islamicity.
This is only ten days ago. Wow, this “terror plot” wasn’t hatched too long ago. CS tells Shareef that his buddy with the weapons hookup (UCA/Undercover FBI Agent) called him. He tells Shareef that UCA asked him whether he (Shareef) wants to buy weapons from him (UCA).
So at this point, we’re not sure if Shareef ever had independent access to weapons. Does Shareef ask CS for a weapons source? It seems unlikely from affidavit. And we’re not told of Shareef’s response to the weapons offer, though later on it becomes clear he obliges, but we are not aware if this was done instantly or with some ‘helpful’ persuasion.
Providing Shareef with access to weapons is a key part of this operation. Though he might have a criminal past, he seems to offer little toward securing the means toward terror. And once again, CS comes through to advance Shareef on to the next stage.
Here is an important transition point. CS and Shareef now discuss places where they can attack civilians. This is strange. Shareef initially wanted to take out a judge. Then, he changed his mind and simply wanted to hit a largely empty government building. But now he and CS discuss locations where civilians can be attacked.
The affidavit does not mention the initator of this part of the discussions. Who brought up the idea of attacking civilians? Was it Shareef? Was it just typical, volatile Shareef? Did he come up with the idea of attacking civilians completely by himself? If so, what does this say about his seriousness? At this point, he’s had 3 or so separate ideas.
Or, and this seems more likely, did CS alter Shareef’s thinking? Did CS guide or push Shareef toward focusing on killing civilians? Did CS initiate this refocusing? If so, why? Perhaps because it wouldn’t be so sexy of a case if Shareef simply wanted to hit a vacant government building on a snowy Christmas Day in Rockland, IL? Perhaps because few would give a shit? What does this specifically say about the CS’s role in this operation? And that of the government?
The Real Plotter(s)
No quote marks here, for the plot is real. It is clear now who is in the driver’s seat: CS. Without precipitation, CS asks Shareef if he thinks it’s a better idea to “hit the mall.” What the hell? Why is government informant giving the “terrorist” ideas? And hitting the mall is a better idea than what? The courthouse? Why? We’re not privy to that information.
Shareef replies, saying that the mall is “just one potential place.” And what does that mean? Most likely that he’s talking out of his ass. Seriously. He’s on to his fifth idea now. This one’s been supplied by the feds though. I think CS got tired of Shareef’s bullshit ideas and decided to give him a real one.
CS relinquishes any remaining passivity. He says, “I mean, alright, we gotta look at it this way, we want to disrupt Christmas.” We? What the fuck? Wait, who’s the terrorist? CS or Shareef? Shareef is just about the worst terrorist in history. He is bankrupt of strategic or tactical insight, skills, or materiele. He is not a leader. He is a follower.
Look at what he says next, “Oh hell yeah, the mall is where it’s at.” Wow, what an impressionable terrorist! After patiently waiting out Shareef for a good terrorist plot, CS gives the alleged terrorist one. Forget hitting a “city hall type place,” “smoking a judge,” or bombing a relatively/completely vacant government building. The mall is where it’s at. Go after the holiday shoppers, decides Shareef (Pinky) with the help of CS (Brain). CS sets the goal clearly: to disrupt Christmas.
Details, details, details
Shareef has been given a strategic goal, site, targeted victims, and specific objectives. Now all he needs is a means of attacking. And he thinks of it all by himself. Not. CS “asks” Shareef if he thinks they need grenades for the attack. Wow. They say we’re in the era of big government. I didn’t know it was that intrusive. Even terrorists can’t decide the details of their plots!
Shareef the Compliant agrees on the need for grenades. He still needs more direction though. So CS continues to lead him, saying, “You go in there and toss a grenade, and no one’s gonna know who did it.” This is an unclear statement. Is CS telling Shareef what to do or simply describing what will happen, i.e. the benefits, if he follows that plan? In his typical yes man fashion, Shareef agrees/complies, replying, “No one’s gonna be expecting no shit like that.” Clearly Shareef didn’t. It wasn’t even his idea!
But now he begins to claim it, the idea. Shareef opines, “The last thing anybody gonna be thinking about at the mall is a damn grenade.” Later, Shareef is asked again by CS, “What targets you wanna hit, the mall’s good?” Is CS trying to confirm that Shareef will go after the mall? Or, is he encouraging Shareef to hit the mall? After all, wasn’t it CS who brought up the idea of the mall? Why does he like the mall so much?
Shareef, showing his Abu Zubaydah-like planning skills, says, “Any place that’s crowded, like a mall is good, anything, any government facility is good.” Wait. Somewhere earlier, he wasn’t concerned with killing many people. In fact, at one point, he wanted to attack a symbol location largely devoid of people.
But now CS’s idea is his too. Shareef tells CS enthusiastically, “I swear by Allah man, I’m down for it too, I’m down for the cause, I’m down to live for the cause and die for the cause, man.”
What does this mean? What does “I’m down for it too” mean? Clearly something had to be down before Shareef also being down with it. Someone else had to be down with it before Shareef. That person is CS. In other words, in Shareef’s understanding, CS was the originator of the plot. The plot had to exist prior to Shareef saying that he’s down for it. And it had to be proposed and ascented to by someone else. Additionally, what cause is Shareef speaking about? Did they talk about politics before that? Why? What role did this play? Did this serve to rile up Shareef, guide him along a certain pattern of thinking, and make him more susceptible to agreeing to violence?
Speaking of violence, there must have been some trauma to Shareef’s brain during a development period. He reveals his utter stupidity. The Shareef the Tactician�he is quoted twice as previously speaking of “tactical” choices, seemingly in an attempt to look militarily intelligent�says, “Here, we’re gonna check out some places, see where you could possibly lob one, do you toss it, do you, could you just sit it down and tip off, speed walk away.”
Shareef the Carless wants to go to a mall, throw a grenade or “sit it down,” and then “speed walk away.” Speed walk. Oh com’on!! This guy is totally dumb. Please! There has to be a minimum IQ for terrorists. Seriously. This reminds me of Jose Padilla’s home-made centrifuge.
Anyway, the grenade in the mall idea clearly was not Shareef’s. And it’s obvious he has no experience with grenades as he knows nothing about utilizing them. Dude, this is 10 days ago. Eight days before his arrest! It’s eight days prior to his arrest and at this point, his idea is to throw a grenade and run away in the middle of a mall, as if no one will see him, as if there are not dozens of cameras in and outside malls!
It’s evening time. Shareef and CS decide to go, where else but the mall. And who’s following them? The FBI of course. Fucking coincidence! So they go to some ghetto ass mall, the CherryVale Shopping Center. CS continues their conversation, which conveniently is still being recorded. Think about the tax payer money being spent so far on Shareef, the dumbest fake terrorist ever. I mean the guy couldn’t even think of his own plot. We got the government doing everything for him!
CS is clearly on a tight schedule. Shareef has got to be arrested within a week or two. So they have to go to the mall ASAP. CS apparently has his car back. And the FBI was prepared to follow the men to the mall. Who proposed going to the mall? I think the answer is clear. If the affidavit doesn’t mention Shareef being the protagonist, then clearly the initiator was CS. This is a principle consistant throughout the text.
At the mall Shareef continues taking ‘ownership’ over the plan, which has been pretty much set for him. He says, “I think, ah, if we do do something like this, we gotta do, we gotta do it simultaneously, like oyu would have to hit one spot and I’ll do another.” This is a menial contribution. He is adding basic specfications to the essentially pre-set plan.
The Muting of CS
At this point, we also lose the voice of CS. What happened to his big mouth? He was so talkative before. I think he’s happy now that all is set. The affidavit doesn’t mention what the two discussed on the way to the mall. Was there awkward silence the whole way? Did they not talk about the “plot?” Or does CS not like to be spoken to while driving?
Still, CS had to have said something before Shareef makes his point about two simultaneous attacks. Surely something preceded Shareef’s comment. What is precipitated by a question by CS that Shareef answered, or a comment by CS that Shareef either agreed with, wanted to elaborate on or disagree with? We aren’t told. But we do get CS’s response. It’s brief. He simply says, according to the affidavit, “That’s fine.” Is this really all he said? What explains his terseness? That Shareef has now concedes to the basics of the plot and sees himself as the head honcho?
Next, Shareef the Strategist says, “Just meet back up, so it would create more pandemonium, and nobody will really be looking at, you know, nobody will be looking for anyone suspicious ’cause it’ll be 80 million people running.”
Right. They will meet somewhere in the back of the mall, managing to go unnoticed because of all the chaos and commotion. There will be no one will be looking for the culprit(s). And of course, malls are not flooded with security cameras.
Two two then tour the mall. They discuss its layout. Shareef is not a careful thinker. He probably stopped thinking once he smelt the Auntie Anne’s preztels. This is an important stage of the plot. It still has to look presentable. Do you think he’s leading the tour? Could be. Perhaps only a peripheral walk through is necessary. The purpose might be, more so, to keep Shareef in the game.
He’s claimed ownership, and now, comes more motivating. CS says, “But if you ever wanna back out, ’cause you gotta let me know before I make the phone call, ’cause I’m checking your heart now…’Cause I have to call my boy, man.” Shareef affirms his commitment, “I’m down.” CS says, “We ain’t gonna get caught, don’t worry.” Shareef says, “I’m not worried about getting caught, not alive.” Whoah. Who spoke about dying? Seems like Shareef is trying to act cool, upping the anty by suggesting that he’d rather die than get caught. CS embraces this discourse, saying, “If we die, then we die.”
This seems�seems perhaps a bit too weak a word�to me as subtle pressure by CS to make Shareef verbally reaffirm his dedication to “the cause.” But it’s not the verbal reaffirmation that matters. What CS wants is for Shareef to be there mentally, to not question CS’s honesty, but to be in a position where he’ll have to prove his own loyalty. Afterall, CS is “checking [Shareef’s] heart.” But this isn’t so much a check of Shareef’s intentions as much as a move to secure that he continues with the terror planning. If before you thought the intentions of CS were somewhat ambiguous, I think now we can pretty much agree that there is something close to only one, uniform objective view of the situation. CS is now manipulating Shareef. He embraces the idea of dying in the attack. Shareef, ever-respondent to CS’s peer pressure, then says, “I’m gonna fast for like three days before.” Wow, what a gullible putz. He’s definitely looking for some affirmation from CS.
Pineapples for Sale
It’s the next day, December 1. Nine days ago. CS tells Shareef on the phone that the weapons dealer “had an order for 11…11 pineapples.” Then Shareef says, “Shit, did he do that so he could give ’em to us wholesale?” Haha, 11 pinnapples is wholesale? Anyway, they’re talking about grenades. Then CS talks about the mechanics of the the device. He says that the provider says that you “can change the time up to 15 seconds.” Shareef shows his ignorance on the use of grenades by asking how that’s done. CS explains that there’s a crank on it to adjust the time. Shareef replies, “How do you know you cranking that shit the right way?” CS responds, “You gotta listen.” Shareef then says, “And then explode.” He enthusiastically says, “So that shit gonna be like boom!” Does Shareef sound like a terrorist or a kid playing a video game? Guess how old he is? 22.
The FBI agent and affidavit author then analyzes this call in the text based on his “training and experience as well as the context of the call.” Is his training and experience in comedy? What in the world is this crap? Read what he writes. It’s on the bottom of page 5 of the affidavit. It just shows how bureaucratic language can make anything stupid look serious.
Pubes and the Ummah
On the same day, CS drives with Shareef to the mall. They discuss the ever-important topic of shaving their pubes. Which of the two men initiate the conversation on pubic hair shaving? Shareef or CS? If it’s CS, what’s his goal? Does he think Shareef sees this as a requirement? Or, does he bring it up to help animate the “plot” for both elite and public consumption later to remind us of the pubeless Muhammad Atta?
Once the two men are done talking about shaving their pubic hair, then they go into a rant about the ‘status of the ummah’�what they see as the plight of the Muslim world. How did this conversation come about? Who raised it? CS or Shareef? If CS raised it, was he trying to rile up Shareef? If so, then he succeeded. We’re not provided with that CS says during this part of the conversation, and so we don’t know what he did to frame, enable, encourage Shareef’s comments, but Shareef says, “I’m ready man…” So wait. Pause. If he says he’s ready, that’s certainly in response to something CS said. It’s either in response to CS asking him if he was ready or CS discussing the issues that ‘motivated’ Shareef and set the stage for him talking about readiness. For example, CS may have been talking about conflicts between Christians and Muslims around the globe, or in general, conflicts where Muslims are or are seen as victims.
Whatever it was, it unleashed Shareef. He says, “I’m ready man, these Kafirs don’t give a damn about us, niggers [i.e. the average Muslim] don’t care what happens to the Umma, about sisters getting raped, about brothers losing their (UI). They don’t care, man. All they care about is (UI)…I probably would have eventually ended up just stabbing the shit outta some Jews or something. Just stabbing them niggers [i.e. Jews] with a steak knife. Dude, I ain’t gonna lie. Because during the war with Hezbollah, man, I had already started to look at synagogues out here and in the DeKalb area and everything. I was looking at synagogues, I was doing Mapquest…One of them was down the block from the masjid, I knew they do their thing on Saturdays, right. I was like, I’m gonna lay low out here, I’m gonna camp out overnight, be out there on Friday night [Friday prayer] or Saturday morning about 12:00 or 1:00 o ‘clock..I be there. And as soon as I see them fools going in the building, I had planned on trying to grab one, depending on how it was, niggers trying to run in the building all at once and open up shop, I was just going to go over there and shank one or two of them.” Then Shareef said, “They definitely gonna know that this shit ain’t over, and they not as safe as they thought.”
WOW. What a freak. Shareef provides specific details about what he claimed were his intentions earlier�a pretty raw, crude attack of Jewish worshippers with “a steak knife.” Disgusting. Horrible. But not organized. Is Shareef telling the truth? Is he just trying to talk up CS, trying to make himself look like a big man? If he’s telling the truth, did the FBI know about this beforehand? Was this what got them to target Shareef? Or is he unknowingly, in his big talking, setting the stage for his own demise, framing himself as an anti-Semitic terrorist?
So Dumb and Dumber get to the mall. CS boasts, “This place gonna be tore up in about two weeks.” Shareef says, “Damn, dude, niggers gonna be gloomy as hell out here, I don’t know how the nationwide effect gonna be, but…” Then Shareef says it’s not gonna be as “gloomy” as 9/11. GLOOMY. Idiot. 9/11 was a travesty. Not simply gloomy. It was bloody, awful, and devastating. Goodness. Give the guy a dictionary in jail.
The two walk around the mall. They measure the time it takes to walk from various points in it. We don’t know who’s leading this. Is it CS or Shareef? Remember what I said about the silence of the text. It speaks loudly. It says CS.
Next, they discuss putting the grenades in garbage cans in the mall. Seems like Shareef suggested the idea as CS says, “I’m glad you came up with the idea, though, the garbage can. That’s sweet.”
A clear effort on the part of CS, who knows all this is being recorded, to emphasize that CS came up with the idea of putting the grenades in the garbage can. Well, com’on man, it’s about time he came up with an idea of his own! Anyway, I see CS weaving things in a way to be able to mark off objectives on his check list, which are: to have Shareef agree to a particular plot; embrace it as his own; increasingly take the lead; and�discussed below�to have Shareef do something material/financial/physical in support of the plot. Notice how the affidavit is increasingly silent about CS’s role in shaping the plot after the visit to the mall. Why?
Get some flous, foo
CS then tells Shareef to get some “flous” (money in Arabic) to buy the grenades. This is critical. One, it suggests that CS is a young, wanna-be thug, Arab American male. Two, this is where Shareef gets materially involved in the plot. Here he is put on the path of purchasing weapons with the intent to kill.
The weapons don’t exist. The vendor is a government agent. So they likely to get Shareef on something more than just talking about this stuff with CS. Afterall, CS is the one who came up with most of the ideas. It has to be proved that Shareef did something material toward acquiring the weapons.
What would this “plot” be if CS said he would pay for the grenades? Nothing. Shareef is provided with the plan, the victims, rationale for the attack, and then is ordered to get the money to pay for the weapons. An overwhelming percentage of the work was done by the federal informant. He was instrumental, essential. This plot would not have existed without him. This is not a terror plot with its own wheels. Shareef is merely a hate-filled thug with highly violent proclivities who concedes to the ideas of a government provacateur.
The next day, December 2, Shareef and CS drive around in CS’s car. The affidavit says CS and Shareef “discussed providing a set of stereo speakers that Shareef owned to UCA in exchange for four hand grenades and two handguns.” Ok, now we’ve reached an ultimate level of absurdity. Shareef is clearly broke. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The previous day, CS asked him to pay for the grenades. Shareef said that he had “a little change in the bank.” It was likely “a little change” � like a buck forty. He also said that he could ask his sister for cash. Alright, so a terrorist asking his sister for money, that’s a first. Obviously that route didn’t work.
And so what this becomes is the most ghetto terror plot in history. Shareef is a broke ass punk. Even his sister won’t lend him money. And so, in order to keep this thing moving, CS is most likely the one who proposed that Shareef sell his ghetto stereo speakers (the affidavit says CS and Shareef discussed it, but we know what that really means). Wait, let me guess what Plan C was � getting the grenades on layaway?
Clearly the government agent is simply groping for a way for Shareef to continue with this “plot.” Broke. No access to cash. So they settled on the one barterable good the guy has. Stereo speakers! And they’re gonna get with those speakers? 4 grenades and 2 hand guns? But CS said the grenades were $50 each. So that means the grenade set cost $200. What do the guns cost? Maybe $100 each? What about bullets? So that’s at least $300. Do you seriously think that broke ass Shareef’s speakers are worth $300?
Now this gets even more cartoonish. This is a caricature of previous terrorist plots. Shareef and CS talked the day earlier about shaving their pubes, a supposed rite among Muslim terrorists before they attack. Now they make their ‘martyrdom’ videos. Haha, what bullshit man. Whose idea was this? The affidavit doesn’t mention this. Moreover, how did they get the camcorder? Do you think broke ass Shareef had one? Shareef makes some speech, seems like it’s written by CS. None of the ghetto talk and cussing in it. Seems like a textbook speech.
The genius FBI agent comments, “Based on my training and experience, it is common for individuals planning attacks on civilians as part of violent jihad to make videotaped statements.” But he begins the affidavit by saying that he’s only been an agent for 2 years. What experience has he had with terror videotapes? This is another instance of bureaucratic language making the idiotic seem believable and serious. The refrain, “Based on my training and experience…” Which are? What if he barely passed his training classes? What if he was trained in tracking aliens, like Mulder? What if he has no experience? And how could he have any experience with these ‘martyrdom’ videotapes? Who has released one in America before? This videotape was likely made at the urging of CS, to make this “plot” resemble others we’ve seen in the news elsewhere. Dumbass Shareef is merely reading the script written for him. And once he reads his last lines, he’s going to the slammer.
It’s not over
This gets stupider. CS and the UCA (undercover agent – the guy selling the pineapples, i.e. grenades) talk. Then UCA says he wants to talk to Shareef. So they talk and agree that they will exchange 4 grenades and 2 guns for Shareef’s speakers. Haha. So plausible! After this charade, the FBI agent who authored the affidavit brings out the legitimizing, bureaucratic refrain again, “Based on my training and experience as well as the context of the call and my discussion with the UCA, I believe that the UCA and Shareef were discussing the delivery of four hand grenades and a hand gun to Shareef…” No shit sherlock! They weren’t talking about pineapples. Who is this guy? Did he copy and paste the affidavit text from an FBI template?
Now it’s over
The story now begins to conclude. December 6 – 4 days ago. CS, Shareef, and UCA meet. They talk. They exchange the stereo speakers for “non-functioning” grenades, guns, and ammo. I don’t know what non-functioning means. Does it mean broken, fake, or deactivated? Anyway, once the exchange is made, the UCA signals to the other agents, and they arrest Shareef – the ‘master terror plotter’.
Amazing story. Amazing in its shittiness. The government basically drove this plot. They got a big talking, broke, and dumb young guy to sell his speakers for grenades. He had no money, knowledge, or pre-existing plot. He was guided all along the way by a government informant.
Look at what bureaucratic speak can do. Robert Grant, special agent in charge of the Chicago FBI office says, “We believe we’ve neutralized this threat.” Listen Bobby, the threat never existed. You basically made it. It’ll take a few days before the press gets on to the stupidity of this story. And it’ll start a little discussion on how the government is entrapping supposed terrorists. I’m not sure if things will change after this. Afterall, people like it when they hear that their government is ‘working’, that it is being ‘vigilant’.
And now, this story has fizzled. It had a half-life of about 3 hours. It’s been demoted on DrudgeReport and hasn’t received significant coverage on serious news outlets. But I think it’ll be brought back to focus once the media finds the story within the story.
The Polemicist writes about politics, culture, and Yankee baseball on his self-titled weblog.