What would it take for you to commit mass murder in the name of Allah?
Would you do it for money? For love? Out of a sense of justice? Out of a sense of religious duty?
Absurd as they may seem, these are serious questions, for as jihad mass-murder plots are being uncovered in the United States more frequently than ever, those are accused of perpetrating them and several Islamic groups are increasingly charging entrapment: that overzealous FBI agents pushed poor innocent Muslims into taking part in a jihad plot that otherwise would never have existed.
And so it was last Wednesday, when a young Muslim named Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis was arrested after trying to detonate what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb in front of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City – which he wanted to do, he said, “for the Muslims,” to “make us one step closer to run the whole world.”
Almost immediately, Islamic supremacists claimed that Nafis was a victim of entrapment. Cyrus McGoldrick of the New York chapter of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) tweeted: “FBI leads idiot in an #entrapment case. Thank God we give them so much money to manufacture crimes.” And Islamic supremacist journalist Mona Eltahawy, who demonstrated her fascist tendencies by spray-painting over the American Freedom Defense Initiative’s anti-jihad New York subway ad, claimed: “We’ve seen many other entrapments here in US.”
Indeed, the same claim has been made in connection with numerous other jihad cases in the U.S., including that of Mohamed Mohamud, a Muslim in Portland, Oregon, who tried to murder those who had gathered for the city’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Mohamud’s case is similar to Nafis’s, in that both involved Islamic jihadists attempt to explode bombs that they did not know were harmless decoys supplied to them by FBI agents, rather than the real thing. Islamic advocacy groups such as the Hamas-linked CAIR have also complained about law enforcement officials’ use of informants inside mosques, claiming in some cases that the jihad plots thereby thwarted would never even have existed in the first place if undercover agents hadn’t started meddling.
Yet charges of entrapment are silly for Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, Mohamed Mohamud or any Muslim caught in a jihad terror plot to try to pursue. For there is every indication that Nafis and Mohamud were more than willing to do whatever was necessary to enable them to murder large numbers of Americans. Nafis himself said that he had come to America from Bangladesh to engage in jihad activity; his goal being to “destroy America.” Thus blowing up the Federal Reserve Bank was not something he had to be enticed into doing.
What’s more, the very fact that Nafis went ahead with his plots ought to be sufficient indication in itself that there was no entrapment. Think about it: what would it take to lead you to participate in a terrorist mass-murder plot? If undercover agents approached you and tried to entice you into working to kill large numbers of innocent people, how hard would it be to convince you to do it?
Speaking strictly for myself, I have absolutely no worries of ever being entrapped in this way; there is simply nothing, under any circumstances, that anyone could say to me to convince me to blow anyone up. And so if someone showed up and started trying to cajole me into doing so, I would find him irritating, but I wouldn’t even come close to doing anything that would enable anyone to portray me as guilty of anything. Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis and Mohamed Mohamud, in contrast, went ahead with their jihad mass-murder plots. Law enforcement agents were not to blame and cannot justly be held accountable for their choices.
These increasingly common charges of entrapment should be seen for what they are: yet another attempt to divert attention from the ugly reality of Islamic jihad activity in the U.S. and around the world, and to place the responsibility for jihadist misdeeds upon non-Muslims – specifically the ones who are trying to thwart the jihadists’ plans. After 9/11, we were assured again and again that the vast majority of Muslims in the U.S. and worldwide were peaceful, and sincerely condemned such violence perpetrated in the name of their religion. Yet over nine years later, we still have yet to see a sincere and effective effort within mosques to expose and report those who hold to the beliefs that led to those attacks.
Instead, we get more finger-pointing. And that means we will also get more jihad.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Did Muhammad Exist?.