A Baltimore man accused of plotting to blow up a military recruiting station was "grinning from ear to ear" and said "Allahu Akbar" as he prepared to detonate what he thought was a powerful bomb last week, federal prosecutors said Monday.
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.
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."
Since when was incompetence considered a legitimate defence in America?
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. She said he even admitted that local imams had tried to talk him out of an attack, saying it was a time for peace.Talked him out of the attack - but did any of them think of going to the authorities? Good, true blue Americans that I'm sure they all are?
Truly astonishing. They're always the victims, aren't they? A Muslim launches yet another plot to slaughter as many infidels as possible, and it's the FBI's fault for infiltrating his plans before they could be carried out. After all, if they'd left him alone he might have got bored and decided to ram his car into a group of pedestrians or take up long-range rifle firing instead.
"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."
Arguments made in the detention hearing in U.S. District Court in Baltimore are a preview of what is to come as courts consider the FBI's increasing use of undercover agents who monitor extremists, pose as co-conspirators and sometimes provide the means to carry out an attack.
The FBI's tactic has been criticized by some Muslims, who accuse government agents of trying to entrap members of their community. Legal experts say that the strategy can be effective in securing more serious charges and that if the accused intended to carry out an attack and wasn't persuaded by the government, it is not entrapment.
Despite the whining of the defence, the picture becomes clearer:
Perhaps because they knew this fool was likely to get them all caught? Who knows, but that hardly makes Martinez innocent in all of this.
In Martinez's case, prosecutors said that it was Martinez's idea to target the recruiting center and that he brought up the idea of using a bomb. They said that he was given several opportunities to back out of the plan but that he chose to press forward.
In a video secretly taken of Martinez as he attempted to detonate the bomb, he appeared to be doing "an everyday task" and showed no remorse or nervousness, Manuelian said.
Balter said that Martinez never bought a weapon and that the people he sought to recruit to help him carry out an attack "blew him off immediately."
I concur - clearly all of this is down to the latent Islamophobia of the dastardly FBI.
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."
If only they'd show respect for certain Islamic cultural and religious traditions, such as launching a cowardly attack on US troops and putting the video footage on YouTube, a lot of this tension between the two communities might simply be avoided in the first place.