Holder denies entrapment of Muslim suspects

December 13, 2010

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