This American Life did a story a few years back about the first conviction in the FBI's war on Terror, Hemant Lakhani, a man with no connections to any terrorists or arms traders, but who was greedy enough that, when the FBI came to him pretending to be a terrorist organization, jumped at the chance to make some money finding them a missile to carry out their attack, and the FBI, also pretending to be an arms trader, sold him a fake missile. Then they arrested him and took credit for foiling a terrorist attack involving missile strikes against American targets.
This same pattern of the FBI finding completely incompetent people and setting them up with fake missiles and bombs has been repeated in the 2009 Synagogue Bombing Plot and the 2010 holiday tree lighting bomb plot in Portland. It's hard to sympathize with the people being convicted in these plots, who were given ample opportunity to bow out; however, it does seem like the FBI and news media are being disingenuous in its portrayal of these events and scaring Americans into increasing the Agency's budget with headlines that read "FBI FOILS BOMBING PLOT" when, in reality, without the FBI's involvement, it's extremely unlikely that these incompetent individuals would ever get close to pulling off the dramatic acts of terrorism the FBI is regularly taking credit for preventing.
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