Last week, Revolver highlighted the disturbing number of key figures in the January 6 Capitol incident who have gone unnamed and unindicted even as the number of criminal cases federal officials have brought spirals into the hundreds. Read it here if you’ve been living under a rock.
By now, it is a distinct possibility that many participants in the January 6 “riot” were associated with the government in some manner, be it as informants or full-blown agents.
America’s regime media is deeply committed to the narrative of January 6 as a planned “insurrection,” so they have flailed desperately to debunk reporting by Revolver as well as Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” Twitter’s “neutral” “aggregators” made a cringeworthy clarification that only further bolstered Revolver’s claims.
— Arthur Nix (@ArthurTheHat) June 16, 2021
Revolver will continue to report out the story of the Capitol incident and the federal government’s potential role in instigating it. But there is another reason to suspect federal involvement in January 6: The federal government has a decades-long history of this exact behavior. Revolver has already reported extensively on the phony “plot” against Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan, where five out of eighteen core plotters were actually connected to the federal government. But there are countless additional incidents, all over the country, stretching all the way back to the 1950s.
Now, for your edification, we would like to present five of the most egregious incidents of the federal government inciting the crimes it claims to be fighting.
The First World Trade Center Bombing
Thanks to 9/11, the 1993 attempt to blow up the World Trade Center is little-remembered today. However, at the time it was one of the most significant terror attacks in U.S. history, killing six people and injuring more than a thousand. If the bomb had succeeded in its intended purpose, toppling the North Tower into the South, it might have claimed tens of thousands of lives.
What is even less well-known, though, is that the bomb that nearly murdered tens of thousands was built with the help of an FBI informant. Egyptian immigrant Emad Salem was a part of Ramzi Yousef’s cell during the plotting of the attack. Salem, posing as an ex-Green Beret, was encouraged by the FBI to join the nascent New York Islamic extremist movement. Once Salem had penetrated the cell, instead of using him to thwart an attack, the FBI deliberately let the attack go forward.
Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and planned to thwart them by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer said after the blast.
The informer was to have helped the plotters build the bomb and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off by an FBI supervisor who had other ideas about how the informer, Emad A. Salem, should be used, the informer said. [Baltimore Sun]
Salem didn’t just observe. According to secret tape recordings he made of his own conversations with the FBI, Salem actually helped build the bombs.
Speaking with the agent about his expenses last April, Salem says costs were pushed higher by the building of the trade center bomb.
Told that his expenses had been “a little out of the ordinary,” he replies in broken English: “I don’t think that because we was start already building the bomb, which is went off in the World Trade Center.”
He says the bomb was built “by supervision from the Bureau (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and the D.A. (district attorney).” “We know that the bomb start to be built. By who? By your confidential informant. What a wonderful great case.” [Tampa Bay Times]
A few months before the bombing, Salem suspended his undercover work. According to Salem, it was because he didn’t like the danger of wearing a wire. But in 1995, FBI officials said they stopped working with Salem because he repeatedly failed polygraph tests.
After the bombing, Salem said wanted to complain to the FBI’s senior leadership. He was told to keep quiet instead:
The transcript quotes Mr. Salem as saying that he wanted to complain to FBI headquarters in Washington about the bureau’s failure to stop the bombing, but was dissuaded by an agent identified as John Anticev.
“He said, I don’t think that the New York people would like the things out of the New York office to go to Washington, D.C.,” Mr. Salem said Mr. Anticev told him. [Baltimore Sun]
Instead, the FBI redeployed Salem as an intelligence asset, having him participate in a second plot to blow up additional targets in the New York City area.
But the FBI had Salem do more than observe. They encouraged him to actively fan the flames of extremism, ostensibly to get information.
By creating the so-called bootleg tapes, Mr. Salem has given ammunition to defense lawyers who argue that he entrapped the 15 defendants charged with conspiring to bomb New York City landmarks.
In one instance that shows how Mr. Salem was prompted by Federal agents, Mr. Anticev is quoted in the same NYT report from above as saying, “You know, pump, maybe kind of pump him up a little bit.” The agent tells Mr. Salem to stress “the loyalty to his cousin.” The target in that instance, Ibrahim A. Elgabrowny, is a cousin of the man who was charged with shooting Mr. Kahane and now a defendant in a plot to bomb New York City targets.
Salem positioned himself as a talented and enthusiastic extremist, who lured additional men into the plot. But Salem wasn’t just inciting violent extremism from others. He was also the key figure moving the plot along. He volunteered to build bombs, tested timing devices for them, and rented the group’s safe house where he was going to mix the explosives. Salem’s role in the plot was so central that arguably it simply would not have gotten off the ground without his involvement.
And Salem had a strong motive to inflate the plot as much as possible. When the plot was punctured and the participants (other than Salem) arrested, he was paid more than a million dollars for his work and subsequent testimony.
Garland, Texas shooting
The First Annual Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas was one of the strangest moments in America’s long confrontation with Islamic terrorism. Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi hoped to kill dozens of unbelievers and achieve a glorious martyrdom. Instead, they managed to kill only themselves, as they were both wounded by off-duty Garland police officer Gregory Stevens just seconds into their attack, before being finished off by SWAT officers.
The Garland attack was a macabre farce, but it easily could have been a horrifying massacre. Simpson and Soofi were both wearing body armor and were armed with six guns and more than 1,500 rounds of ammunition. And if innocents had been killed, it would have been entirely due to the actions of the FBI.
When Simpson and Soofi drove to the site of the attack, an FBI agent was in a car right behind them. That informant was dressed in Middle Eastern garb, and looked the part so well that local police nearly shot him in the mayhem. That informant also actively abetted the attack. Merely a week before the shooting, when Simpson shared a link about the upcoming cartoon contest, the agent replied by urging him to “tear up Texas.” Simpson replied by saying the agent didn’t have to be so overt about what was to be done.
After the attack, the FBI claimed that despite their agent being in direct contact with one of the shooters beforehand, the entire thing was a huge coincidence. The agent, they said, was at the Muhammad cartoon contest as part of another infiltration operation, and was surprised as anyone to see the other two attackers there (so surprised, apparently, that instead of trying to stop the attackers he simply fled the scene in a panic). The fact an FBI agent was in a car directly behind the attackers at the moment they arrived and started their attack was just a huge fluke worthy of a sitcom like Arrested Development.
Of course, if the agent’s presence really was innocent, it raises the question of why it was kept a secret from the public for fifteen months afterwards, and why the FBI has avoided full transparency in the matter to this day (even now, the agent’s name isn’t public).
“That morning, before one of those terrorists left and tried to commit mass murder, he exchanged 109 messages with an overseas terrorist,” Comey told the Senate committee. “We have no idea what he said, because those messages were encrypted.”
Comey didn’t offer more specifics, but he said the Garland incident was a prime example of the need for tech companies to alter the design of apps and devices so that the data is made accessible when public safety is at stake.
“Lots of good people have designed their systems and their devices so that judges’ orders cannot be complied with, for reasons that I understand,” Comey said in an apparent swipe at iPhone-maker Apple. “I’m not questioning their motivations. The question we have to ask is, ‘Should they change their business model?’” [NBC News]
For years, Hal Turner stood out as one of the most inflammatory figures on the American right. Getting his start as a frequent caller to Sean Hannity’s radio program, Turner later ran his own online radio program while also participating in local grassroots activism in New Jersey. Routinely, Turner’s rhetoric turned violent: He called for American citizens to gun down illegal immigrants and suggested that white people would have to lynch blacks and Hispanics if street crime wasn’t brought under control. Here’s what happened after the 2006 midterms:
On December 6, 2006, Turner announced: “We may have to ASSASSINATE some of the people you elect on Nov. 7!
“If you are too stupid to turn things around with your vote, there are people out here like me who are willing to turn things around with guns, force and violence. We hope our method does not become necessary.” [Daily Voice]
In 2008, Turner specifically promoted violence against a local school official for introducing a pro-gay and pro-“diversity” curriculum.
Lexington superintendent Paul Ash of Newton has been threatened by a New Jersey radio host urging listeners to “use threats and violence” against Ash for the school district’s new diversity curriculum.
The radio host says “I advocate parents using FORCE AND VIOLENCE against Superintendent Paul B. Ash as a method of defending the health and safety of school children presently being endangered through his politically-correct indoctrination into deadly, disease-ridden sodomite lifestyles.” The site lists Ash’s last known addresses, a phone number, and a birth date. [MetroWest Daily News]
Turner also fantasized about violent action against then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.
“I’m starting to come to the realization that it may be up to a sole person, acting alone, to make certain this guy is never allowed to hold the most powerful office in the world,” he wrote on his blog.
Finally, in 2009, Turner called for the murder of federal judges Frank Easterbrook, Richard Posner, and William Bauer after they upheld Chicago’s strict handgun ban.
“Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges deserve to be killed,” Turner said. “Their blood will replenish the tree of liberty. A small price to pay to assure freedom for millions. … These judges deserve to be made such an example of as to send a message to the entire judiciary: Obey the Constitution or die.”
To drive his point home, Turner also posted photos, phone numbers, and work addresses for the three judges. Shortly after, Turner was arrested and charged with making criminal threats to intimidate the judges.
But as his trial proceeded, Turner made a stunning revelation: He had been acting on the FBI’s orders the whole time:
They called him “Valhalla.”
But it was more than a nickname.
For more than five years, Hal Turner of North Bergen lived a double life.
The public knew him as an ultra-right-wing radio talk show host and Internet blogger with an audience of neo-Nazis and white supremacists attracted to his scorched-earth racism and bare-knuckles bashing of public figures. But to the FBI, and its expanding domestic counter-terror intelligence operations in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, Turner was “Valhalla” — his code name as an informant who spied on his own controversial followers. [NorthJersey.com]
The FBI, perhaps realizing the PR mess they’d gotten themselves into, claimed that Turner was only a fringe asset whose behavior was outside the FBI’s control. But it was a lie:
[A]n investigation by The Record — based on government documents, e-mails, court records and almost 20 hours of jailhouse interviews with Turner — shows that federal authorities made frequent use of Turner in its battle against domestic terrorism.
As Turner took to his radio show and blog to say that those who opposed his extremist views deserve to die, he received thousands of dollars from the FBI to report on such groups as the Aryan Nations and the white supremacist National Alliance, and even a member of the Blue Eyed Devils skinhead punk band. Later, he was sent undercover to Brazil where he reported a plot to send non-military supplies to anti-American Iraqi resistance fighters. Sometimes he signed “Valhalla” on his FBI payment receipts instead of his own name.
In a memo only two years earlier, the FBI said Turner “has proven highly reliable and is in a unique position to provide vital information on multiple subversive domestic organizations.” The memo went on to say that Turner’s “statistical accomplishments include over 100 subjects identified, over 10 acts of violence prevented and multiple subjects arrested.” [NorthJersey.com]
According to Turner, he was actively coached by the FBI on what rhetoric to use to gin up support from extremists, and and was even advised on whom to attack (he says he was specifically told to criticize black figures like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton). The FBI denied that, and internal documents produced no evidence, but it’s obviously possible that more controversial or embarrassing instructions to Turner were “lost,” or simply never written down in the first place.
Eventually, Turner was convicted for threatening the three judges, and spent three years in prison. According to Turner, the moral is simple: He trusted the FBI, and was betrayed.
The FBI’s famous 15-year-long Counter Intelligence Program, abbreviated COINTELPRO, is best-known for spying on Martin Luther King Jr. and sending him an anonymous letter encouraging him to commit suicide. COINTELPRO is also notorious for monitoring various anti-Vietnam War protesters and using Stasi-style efforts to embarrass or discredit activists and extremists deemed a threat to American values or stability.
But COINTELPRO’s activities were far more eclectic than just espionage and smear tactics. The FBI also routinely employed agents provocateur in ways that clearly paved the way for shenanigans like the Whitmer kidnapping “plot.”
From 1967 through 1970, Tommy Tongyai, better known as “Tommy the Traveler,” hopped around the country posing as a radical member of Students for a Democratic Society. In fact, Tongyai was an FBI informant, who persistently urged non-violent activists to up their game:
In “The Revolutionary Was A Cop,” one student states that on a different, presumably earlier occasion, Tommy had brought into a dorm room “some gasoline and a Coke bottle, and he said, ‘Let’s go out and throw a Molotov cocktail…in front of Superdorm.”
And I said, “You’re crazy.”
[Tommy] said, “Well, come on, it’ll make a nice big boom and get the residents stirred up. Throw a little scare into them. Show them what we can do.” [Andrew Wickenden]
Two students at Hobart College, acting at Tongyai’s urging, firebombed a campus ROTC building, and were then swiftly arrested and sentenced to several months in prison each.
In May 1970, an FBI informant burned down a building at the University of Alabama during protests after the Kent State shooting; the arson was then used as a justification to arrest 150 demonstrators. Larry Grathwohl, who joined Bill Ayers’s terrorist group the Weather Underground, turned out to be an FBI infiltrator. But that didn’t stop him from planting bombs on the group’s behalf.
And so it went, over and over:
A prominent member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War — and FBI informant — pushed for “shooting and bombing,” and his advocacy apparently did indeed lead to a bombing and a bomb threat. An FBI informant in Seattle drove a young black man named Larry Ward to a real estate office that engaged in housing discrimination and encouraged him to place a bomb there; the police were waiting and killed Ward. Thirteen Black Panthers were accused of a plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty after receiving 60 sticks of dynamite from an FBI informant. After 28 people broke into a federal building to destroy draft files in 1971, an FBI informant bragged, “I taught them everything they knew.” All 28 were acquitted when his role was revealed.
The FBI also allowed informants within right-wing organizations to participate in violence against progressive activists. Gary Thomas Rowe, who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in 1960, provided the FBI with three weeks warning that the Klan was planning attacks on Freedom Riders arriving in Alabama from the north. The FBI stood by and allowed the attacks to occur. Local police gave the Klan 15 minutes to assault the activists. In those 15 minutes, the white supremacists — including Rowe — set the Freedom Rider bus on fire in an attempt to burn them alive. [The Intercept]
COINTELPRO’s activities were only exposed when the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI, a left-wing activist group, broke into an FBI field office in the suburbs of Philadelphia, stole relevant documents, and then gave them to the media. As soon as the program became public, the FBI announced it would immediately stop all such activities. But that doesn’t meant they did. According to ex-operative Joseph Burton, the FBI paid him to set up and lead a group of Maoist radicals, the Red Star Cadre. Burton says the FBI paid for the group’s equipment, travel, and lodging when it journeyed to the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami. While there, Burton encouraged demonstrators to try to topple a bus and then blow it up (they tried, but were unable to do so). He ran the group until 1974.
The Herald Square Bomber
Shahawar Matin Siraj was one of the government’s biggest catches in the early years of the War on Terrorism. In 2004, Siraj, a bookstore employee, was recorded by FBI informant Osama Eldawoody “plotting” to bomb the Herald Square subway station in New York. He was arrested, convicted of engaging in a terrorist conspiracy, and sentenced to thirty years in prison.
Except, without Eldawoody’s prodding, there would have been no “conspiracy” at all. Eldawoody, who was paid $100,000 for his informant work, actively inflamed anti-American sentiment in Siraj, acting as an older mentor who pushed him in the direction of violent action.
Siraj was quietly pleased when Eldawoody started offering him rides after work. The young man listened as his friend counseled him on personal responsibility and the Prophet’s sayings. Over the months, Siraj found himself pouring his heart out to Eldawoody, about his financial woes and about Mano, the woman in Pakistan he had met online; he hoped to marry her soon. He was distraught when Eldawoody confided that he was suffering from a liver disease and worried that it was potentially fatal. Siraj promised to care for Eldawoody’s daughter if anything happened to him and began telling him, in his broken English, “I am like your son.”
Slowly, their conversations took on a darker edge. Eldawoody complained to Siraj that the F.B.I. was harassing him, maybe because he was a Muslim who knew about nuclear engineering. They discussed the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and online images of Muslims being tortured and killed in the wars overseas. When Siraj saw a picture of a girl who was raped, he broke down and cried. Eldawoody seemed to share his friend’s anger. Something had to be done, something that would get the world to pay attention. [NY Times]
Eventually, Siraj tried to back out of the plan, but Eldawoody manipulated him to stay the course.
Siraj explained that it would be noticeable, then tried a different approach, telling an invented story about the F.B.I. arresting two Muslims during a Pakistan Day parade near Herald Square. It would be too dangerous for him to be in the area now. Growing annoyed, Eldawoody reminded him that the Brothers were counting on him. Siraj hedged. He had already given the Brothers the idea, he said. He could help with the planning aspect, really anything but planting the bomb, but he needed to feel comfortable with every single detail. And there was another matter. “I have to, you know, ask my mom’s permission.”
Exasperated, Eldawoody asked more directly about Siraj’s willingness to place a bomb. “You don’t want to put it there?”
There was silence as the car rolled through Queens. Suddenly, Elshafay said he would dress up as a Jew for the operation, and Siraj jokingly encouraged the idea, hoping laughter would cut the tension. Again, Eldawoody asked if Siraj would join. Siraj, now so close to home, responded that he could check out the security at the station. He clarified again, though: He wouldn’t carry a bomb. He didn’t want to put it anywhere with his hands.
Eldawoody pulled up to Siraj’s apartment building. They shook hands, but Siraj could sense Eldawoody’s frustration and disappointment.
“I’m sorry,” Siraj said, and got out. [NY Times]
Just days later, Siraj was arrested, brought down in a plot whose entire existence hinged on an FBI instigator.
The above cases only touch the surface of the FBI’s long history of entrapment/incitement schemes. Indeed, the more we learn about the FBI and the national security state generally, the more we are compelled to wonder whether they exist to do anything BUT conspire against the American people.
Stay tuned as Revolver continues to break news on the latest chapter of the FBI and national security state’s shame and infamy.