The Big Brothers Big Sisters organization has shown that when you pair an impressionable teenager with a positive role model, good things happen. http://www.bbbs.org/site/c.9iILI3NGKhK6F/b.5961035/k.A153/Big_impact8212proven_results.htm
The FBI affidavit in the Oregon Bomb Plot case proves the reverse. So forgive me for not applauding the FBI for thwarting its own plot.
How did the FBI thwart the plot to bomb people during Portland’s tree lighting ceremony? The same way that House, M.D. solves the mystery of unusual disease: it wrote the script.
The FBI affidavit – (http://media.oregonlive.com/portland_impact/other/USAFFIDAVIT.pdf) details what Mohamed Mohamud did wrong. He e-mailed someone in Pakistan. The last E-mail was on December 3, 2009. It was from a guy overseas who said “if you wanna come [to OMRA], theres a bro that will contact you. . .” The agent opined that this probably was code to prepare for jihad in Pakistan and not to visit OMRA, a sacred Muslim site near Mecca.
Mohamud never connected with the “bro,” but mentioned in an E-mail to a friend in January, 2010 that he hoped to be a “martyr in the highest chambers of paradise.” That’s it. That’s all this teenager did. Shoot, if I were given a choice between Hell or Paradise — a place of lofty mansions, delicious food and drink, and available virgins — I know what I’d select.
But the FBI kept monitoring Mohamud. Apparently, he said or did nothing improper in the following months. In June, 2010, officials prevented Mohamud from flying to Kodiak Alaska, (not known as a jihad center). Mohamud said he had a fishing job. He admitted the previous E-mail.
So now, the FBI had worked on this “case” for about a year and had NOTHING, except a pissed off college kid who could not spend his summer in Alaska. Nine days later, the FBI began its efforts to protect us from this would-be fisherman. It gained the confidence of the teenager (conned him) and worked with him to plot and execute the bombing. The FBI made jihad convenient, meeting Mohamud in Corvallis, Oregon, 84 miles away on one occasion and giving him a ride from Corvallis to Portland on another occasion.
Perhaps another approach would have been offer the kid kindness and counseling and some way to self-actualize other than jihad.