FBI accused of entrapment in plot to bomb U.S. capitol

The father of a 20-year-old man accused of plotting to plant pipe bombs at the U.S. capitol and use an automatic weapon to kill Capitol employees is charging the  FBI with trying to entrap his son.

The suspect, 20-year-old Christopher Cornell, indicated on Twitter that he was a supporter of the Islamic State.

John Cornell, the suspect's father, said he thought his son "was coerced into a lot of this."

"There is no way he could have carried out any kind of terrorist plot," John Cornell said.

Really?  The facts – if true – tell a different story:

Christopher Cornell, 20, of Cincinnati researched the construction of pipe bombs, purchased a semi-automatic rifle and 600 rounds of ammunition and made plans to travel to Washington to carry out the plot, according to an FBI informant's legal testimony.

Court documents showed that Cornell indicated on Twitter that he supported the Islamic State group under the alias Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah.

According to the documents, in instant messages to the undercover FBI informant, Cornell indicated that while he did not have support to conduct an attack on behalf of any group, "we already got a thumbs up from the Brothers over there and Anwar al Awlaki before his martyrdom and many others." Awlaki was killed by the United States in Yemen in 2011.

In a November meeting with the informant, Cornell said he considered members of Congress to be his enemies, and he outlined a plan to place pipe bombs at and near the U.S. Capitol and use firearms to kill employees and officials inside, according to the documents.

It's a little suspicious that the younger Cornell would go out and purchase an automatic weapon and 600 rounds of ammo while telling an informant at the same time he wanted to shoot up the U.S. Capitol building.  I think we can rule out entrapment in this case.

The incident highlights the difficulty in heading off these "lone wolf" terrorist attacks.  Cornell was not on any watch list or being shadowed by the FBI.  He was a lonely young man who was seduced by Islamic State images and rhetoric on the internet.  His parents describe him as a "mommy's boy" and a loner who wouldn't have been capable of murder.  The problem is that step by step, he never showed any hesitancy in wanting to carry out his plot.

Cornell was unlucky, from a terrorist's standpoint, and we were lucky.  But you have to wonder how many more Cornells are out there flying below the radar and, instead of having FBI informants help them, being assisted by violent jihadists, who are all over the web.

Chilling thought, that.

The father of a 20-year-old man accused of plotting to plant pipe bombs at the U.S. capitol and use an automatic weapon to kill Capitol employees is charging the  FBI with trying to entrap his son.

The suspect, 20-year-old Christopher Cornell, indicated on Twitter that he was a supporter of the Islamic State.

John Cornell, the suspect's father, said he thought his son "was coerced into a lot of this."

"There is no way he could have carried out any kind of terrorist plot," John Cornell said.

Really?  The facts – if true – tell a different story:

Christopher Cornell, 20, of Cincinnati researched the construction of pipe bombs, purchased a semi-automatic rifle and 600 rounds of ammunition and made plans to travel to Washington to carry out the plot, according to an FBI informant's legal testimony.

Court documents showed that Cornell indicated on Twitter that he supported the Islamic State group under the alias Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah.

According to the documents, in instant messages to the undercover FBI informant, Cornell indicated that while he did not have support to conduct an attack on behalf of any group, "we already got a thumbs up from the Brothers over there and Anwar al Awlaki before his martyrdom and many others." Awlaki was killed by the United States in Yemen in 2011.

In a November meeting with the informant, Cornell said he considered members of Congress to be his enemies, and he outlined a plan to place pipe bombs at and near the U.S. Capitol and use firearms to kill employees and officials inside, according to the documents.

It's a little suspicious that the younger Cornell would go out and purchase an automatic weapon and 600 rounds of ammo while telling an informant at the same time he wanted to shoot up the U.S. Capitol building.  I think we can rule out entrapment in this case.

The incident highlights the difficulty in heading off these "lone wolf" terrorist attacks.  Cornell was not on any watch list or being shadowed by the FBI.  He was a lonely young man who was seduced by Islamic State images and rhetoric on the internet.  His parents describe him as a "mommy's boy" and a loner who wouldn't have been capable of murder.  The problem is that step by step, he never showed any hesitancy in wanting to carry out his plot.

Cornell was unlucky, from a terrorist's standpoint, and we were lucky.  But you have to wonder how many more Cornells are out there flying below the radar and, instead of having FBI informants help them, being assisted by violent jihadists, who are all over the web.

Chilling thought, that.