By Andrew E. Harrod:
The Newburgh Sting will air Monday, July 21 on HBO. This documentary concerns a 2009 FBI undercover operation against terrorist attacks upon New York area targets. Viewers beware, though; this film ignores copious evidence of jihadist motivation in a tale of deprived individuals entrapped by zealous officials that discredits effective tactics against terror.
The documentary analyzes how four American Muslims undertook what they thought would be attacks against two Bronx synagogues and American military transport planes in a May 20, 2009 FBI sting. The operation begins with FBI informant Shahed Hussain visiting Newburgh, New York’s Masjid Al-Ikhlas mosque undercover, where the apparently wealthy Hussain raised suspicions with persistent inquiries into jihad. “Everybody here is straight,” however, so Al-Ikhlas imam Salahuddin Muhammad remained unconcerned.
Yet the film recounts how Hussain encountered in Al-Ikhlas’s parking lot, on June 13, 2008, James Cromitie, as described by court records, where his Muslim name, Abdul Rehman, also appears. In the film, Cromitie falls prey not to talk of jihad, but rather to Hussain’s offer of $250,000, according to former FBI agent and ACLU policy analyst Mike German. “They’re doing it for the money,” Cromitie likewise says on a surveillance tape in the film about the three plotters he recruits. David Williams (“AKA DAOUD” in official documents), for example, liked “weed and women,” according to his aunt. He merely became a “jailhouse Muslim” in order to avoid prison gangs and wanted money for his mother’s liver transplant operation.
These four plotters “certainly were not terrorists,” German judges, but ran afoul of FBI entrapment. The “rules don’t apply anymore” at an FBI that after September 11, 2001, views the “entire Muslim community as suspect,” German criticizes. “Some bad actors in every community” can appear, concurs Representative Keith Ellison, when authorities “channel a vast amount of law enforcement resources.” Muslims are now merely the “new thing” after Communists in the 1950s and gang members in the 1990s.
Yet “Islam literally means peace,” Al-Ikhlas assistant imam Hamin Rashada says. The “most beautiful thing that has ever come off the tongue” is the Koran, he adds, breaking into tears, to which terrorists are “only giving lip service.” Zero American mosques have had terrorism links, Nihad Awad, from the unindicted terrorism financing co-conspirator Council on American-Islamic Relations, also assures.
Treating Muslims as “partners or as suspects” in law enforcement is the choice Salam al-Marayati from the equally radical Muslim Public Affairs Council outlines for authorities. Marayati wanted “to push out surveillance as a law enforcement tactic…with effective partnership programs” at a June 2014 presentation of The Newburgh Sting.
Brief references to jihadist ideology appear in the documentary. The Bronx synagogues are “good…excellent” targets for Cromitie because “I hate those…f—ing Jewish bastards.” “This is jihad,” Hussain in turn stresses to Cromitie, and not just a matter of money.
Court records, however, give a far fuller account of why the four plotters’ entrapment defense failed both at trial and on appeal. Cromitie wanted “to do something to America…to die like a shahid, a martyr” and “go to paradise,” he declared to Hussain after initiating contact with him on June 13, 2008. “In all his prior encounters as an informant,” Hussain “had never heard anything like that before,” the prosecutor’s brief to the appeals court observed.
Read more at American Thinker
- HBO’s ‘Newburgh Sting’ Doc Leaves Terrorism, Truth on Cutting Room Floor (centerforsecuritypolicy.org)