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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Is C4 now a WMD?

I'm glad they caught these guys. They sound like dead up terrorists. But if you read the article, they were arrested planting what they thought was C4 at a synagogue, and yet they're being charged with "conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction." (NYTimes, AP)

Are we not getting some detail or is C4 now called a WMD?

(PS. Big credit to the FBI for infiltrating this crew and giving them dummy explosives. That's great work.)


  • Props to the FBI for preventing any real damage, but I have to admit that I'm somewhat suspicious about sting operations, especially ones started while Bush was still in office. The plot was "aspirational" until the infiltrator came in and provided the fake bombs. Have to wonder if they would have ever gone past the talking about it stage without being egged on by the FBI guy.

    By Blogger Libby Spencer, at 8:56 AM  

  • Just as any violence-spouting, anti-American, yahoo is a "terrorist," so too anything that goes boom or causes a rash is a WMD. It's all part of the shrill lexicon of War on Terror, War on Drugs, etc.

    By Blogger -epm, at 9:36 AM  

  • Libby, without hearing all the wires and tapes, you never know, but my first sense is that this group was more serious than the Miami goofballs or the Lackawanna six.

    Even if they were somewhat coerced, they still went forward and planted what they thought were bombs. They took that step.


    And, EPM, Somehwere I saw a piece that contradicted my question about whether C4 is WMD. Apparently, somewhere along the way New York Law was rewritten to a very broad interpretation including certain size explosions.

    I tend to agree with you that this is overdefinition for effect, but apparently, as a legal term, in New York, a certain amount of C$ is considered a WMD.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:33 AM  

  • That is a good point Mike on their willingness to go through with it, but apparently they had no idea how to get bombs or weapons until the informant arrived.

    A lot of people talk, few take action without added catalyst. Which is not to say that we're not better off with these guys behind bars. They sound like dangerous thugs in general, judging from their arrest records.

    By Blogger Libby Spencer, at 12:12 PM  

  • I get your point, and there has been a history of drawing goofballs into stuff, but, legally, you give someone a gun and tell them to pull the trigger, they're still responsible for the bullet.

    And, your point that they may not be particularly dangerous may be valid, but, from a legal standpoint, they pulled the trigger.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:06 PM  

  • They arrested 4... was there a fifth FBI guy making sure they were coordinated enough to look like the real deal? We'll never know, but here's to the least-popular-branch keeping its doors open with very scary homeland stories like this.

    By Blogger Will, at 3:27 PM  

  • I haven't been watching this story into the afternoon, but, again, this sounds like a very real attempt.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 3:59 PM  

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