Holder denies entrapment of Muslim suspects
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder defended the FBI's recent undercover investigation of an Oregon Muslim terror suspect, saying that Muslim critics who think it was a case of "entrapment" are wrong.
"Those who characterize the FBI's activities in this case as 'entrapment' simply do not have their facts straight—or do not have a full understanding of the law," Holder said December 10 at the annual dinner of Muslim Advocates, a San Francisco-based civil liberties group.
Holder was referring to the arrest November 26 of Mohamed Osman Mohamud, who is charged with plotting to blow up a van full of explosives outside a crowded Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland.
"I make no apologies for how the FBI agents handled their work in executing the operation that led to Mr. Mohamud's arrest," Holder said. "Their efforts helped to identify a person who repeatedly expressed his desire and intention to kill innocent Americans."
He said the affidavit in Mohamud's case alleges that the suspect chose the location he was targeting months ahead of time and refused to change his plans even when reminded that children would be among a large crowd that could be harmed.
Holder said he hears from Muslims that they think there is an "us versus them" mentality in law enforcement. "That is unacceptable," he said, adding that cooperation with Muslim and Arab-American communities is "absolutely essential" in preventing threats of terrorism. —RNS