Mohamud Was Not Entrapped
How easily could you be persuaded to murder thousands of Americans?


Andrew C. McCarthy

What would someone have to offer to entice you into killing someone? Or to entice you into killing thousands of people?

The FBI has just caught Mohamed Osman Mohamud trying to kill 25,000 Americans at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland. That means the silly season is once again upon us. Not the holiday season — the entrapment season. It comes around, as surely as Cialis commercials follow NFL opening kickoffs, every time the FBI catches a jihadist trying to mass-murder Americans.

You may have noticed that jihadists try to mass-murder Americans with some frequency. One would think this stubborn fact would more than deserve the heightened attention it is reluctantly given by the FBI — the politically correct, anti-profiling, “every culture has its violent extremists” FBI. But it does not — at least not for CAIR’s pied pipers, dutifully trailed by defense lawyers, libertarian extremists, anti-American leftists, and the accommodating media. It seems no amount of Islamic outreach and sensitivity training will shield the bureau from caterwauling over its agents provocateurs. Again and again, these undercover operatives bamboozle some innocent “youth,” who just happens to be a Muslim, into an attempted slaughter whose selling point just happens to be the glorification of Allah through violent jihad.

The linchpin of this anti-enforcement campaign is always entrapment, which is the legal concept of being bamboozled into criminality. As a matter of law, the claim of entrapment in terrorism cases is nonsense. Still, regardless of how many times it fails, it is raised again — another example of common sense taking a backseat to legal processes when a society becomes so “progressive” it can’t let a citizen eat a cheeseburger without first hearing what the experts (inevitably meaning the lawyers) have to say about it.

The lawyers, naturally, are very troubled by government “sting” operations. Lawyers, after all, are paid to be troubled, and to see to it that you knit your brow and get troubled, too. So we hear that Mohamud is just 19. He is an American citizen — as American, one supposes, as apple pie . . . assuming that the pie is baked in Somalia, Mohamud’s birthplace, a no-man’s-land of Muslim fundamentalism and brutality (funny how the two seem to go together). Just a normal kid, we’re told: graduating from high school in Beaverton, Ore., attending the state university, drinking an occasional beer, etc. That’s no radical’s profile — and isn’t it interesting that Islamists and leftists think profiling is just fine as long as it’s used to claim someone couldn’t possibly be guilty of something?

They ask: Have you heard about this investigation? The FBI wormed their way into Mohamud. They read his e-mail. They gave him money. They bought the bomb components. They paid for the safe house. They built the test explosive. They pretended to detonate it. Then they built the bomb. They provided not only the cell phone that was supposed to trigger the bomb but also the number code that had to be punched in. Mohamud was obviously set up: just a puppet at the end of their strings.

It is a tired script, and there are easy legal answers to all of it — which is why the defense is batting exactly .000 despite many turns at bat over the last two decades. But the easiest answer has little to do with law, and you don’t need a juris doctor to grasp it. It is not about entrapment, but about us.

No rational human being can be enticed, against his beliefs, into murdering another person, much less murdering thousands of people, as Mohamud hoped and tried very hard to do at Pioneer Courthouse Square on November 26. No amount of money, cajoling, or appeals to anti-Americanism and cultural solidarity can get a person to take such an unspeakable action.