“Sting Operation” or Entrapment?

By Zach Mealer

CBS News reported this morning that the FBI arrested 5 men (alleged “anarchists”) charged with conspiracy to use explosive materials to destroy a public facility (a bridge) in Ohio earlier this week. The arrest was the result of a month-long sting operation that began when one of the defendants was approached by a FBI informant at a local gunshow. The official court papers admit that this informant has a shady criminal background and is currently serving a sentence for charges of fraud. I smell entrapment…

The defendant that made initial contact with the FBI informant had recently acquired a copy of “The Anarchist’s Cookbook”, a mock literary work featuring recipes for homemade explosives… generally, it’s seen as just a tasteless joke. Of course, in the atmosphere of heightened fear that we live in, such jokes aren’t taken lightly. There is genuine cause for concern all around; from the encroaching authoritarian state or from our own misguided outburst and the potential for a lot of unneeded violence.

Before meeting the informant, the defendants were simply planning on rigging smoke-bomb devices to distract the police, allowing the defendants to vandalize a public statue. Once these wannabe rebels ran into the road-hard informant, their plans became a little more extreme. No doubt, this informant pumped these kids up so that he could keep his federal cash flow moving. The FBI doesn’t seem too concerned about that though…

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