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article imageFBI’s fake website entrapping terrorist wannabe got critics

By Eko Armunanto     Apr 25, 2013 in World
"It means Tounisi was arrested for trying to join the Syrian rebels group that our State Department is funding. How much more screwed up can this administration be” says a critic.
Abdella Ahmad Tounisi, 18, discovered a web page secretly set up by the FBI to appear to be a recruiting site for Jabhat al-Nusrah, an Islamist hardliner group who joined Al-Qaeda last week in Syria’s civil war. As he was interested in joining the group to fight in Syria, the Chicago-born teen Tounisi made an email contact with the purported recruiter and made arrangements to travel to training camp in Syria.
But it wasn’t like what it seemed; the purported recruiter was in fact an undercover FBI agent who then arrested him.
Tounisi was accused of seeking to join al-Qaida-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusrah, which is fighting the Syrian Bashar Assad regime in a bloody civil war. The fake website had the trappings of an actual extremist website: Photos of gun-toting fighters and a flowery exhortation to "Come and join your lion brothers fighting under the true banner of Islam."
Tounisi was charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization after his arrest Friday evening at O’Hare International Airport. Authorities said he was about to board a flight to Turkey and planned to travel to Syria to join up with the Jabhat al-Nusrah terror group, identified by the State Department as an alias for al-Qaida in Iraq.
Tounisi’s father, Ahmad, who over the weekend denied his son’s involvement in terrorism, declined to comment after court, pleading with the news media to leave the family alone.
Prosecutors allege Tounisi was close friends with Adel Daoud, who was charged last September with trying to explode a bomb outside a downtown bar. FBI analysts had become aware of Daoud’s alleged intention to join in violent jihad through Internet chat rooms and provided him with an inoperable explosive.
Despite all the support for using the fake website as a cost-effective method, there are also critics saying the use of such websites raises questions about whether authorities are overreaching, encouraging impressionable youth to contemplate crimes that otherwise wouldn't cross their minds.
Defense attorney in Chicago Phil Turner said these fake websites can end up creating more domestic crimes instead of arresting global terrorists. Phil Turner said real-world global terrorists don't need to go to a website for contacts as they already have real ground contacts worldwide.
The teen's capture took place as US Secretary of State John Kerry unveiled a $123 million aid package for Syrian rebels, while visiting Istanbul alongside British Foreign Secretary William Hague. “It means Tounisi was arrested for trying to join the Syrian rebels group that our State Department is funding. How much more screwed up can this administration be” says another critic on Daily Mail, “Or was it perhaps that US security agents were so under pressure from the media which condemned them for what is being called in the States the ‘bungled Boston bombing case’ due to the fact that FBI had, in fact, captured and monitored the two culprits up to two years prior to the attacks?”
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