. Gordon Crovitz
The Wall Street Journal
Since Sept. 11, 2001, authorities have thwarted 53 terrorist attacks in the U.S., said L. Gordon Crovitz. In many of these successful investigations, the would-be terrorist was tricked into revealing his murderous plans to undercover agents—a tactic some civil libertarians claim is “unethical entrapment.” The latest arrest is a case in point. Authorities recently charged Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, a 21-year-old recent arrival from Bangladesh, with attempting to detonate a 1,000-pound bomb at the New York Federal Reserve. The bomb—a fake—was provided by the FBI. Nafis had tried to contact al Qaida via Facebook, and told an undercover agent he wanted to commit an act of terrorism—“something very big” that “will shake the whole country.” Was it wrong for the FBI to set up the sting that took Nafis off the street? No way. “People either want to commit terrorist acts or they don’t.” If the FBI hadn’t funneled Nafis and dozens of would-be terrorists into phony plots, you can be sure some would have detonated real bombs.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- Why is American internet so slow?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
- The GOP must try to win over African-Americans
- 10 things you need to know today: March 10, 2014
- Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza's dad: 'I wish he'd never been born'
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 10 things the greatest leaders all have in common
Subscribe to the Week