While engaging in a LinkedIn discussion at the Workplace Violence group John Byrnes invited us to visit his Aggression Management blog to review a recent post highlighting the difference between probability and predictability in workplace violence cases.
His post used the recently interrupted alleged plot by Amine El Khilifi to carry out a suicide bombing at the U.S. Capitol as an example for his concerns. My initial response reads as follows:
I respectfully submit that the current
In his reply John issued a challenge to my perspective. After further reflection, I wrote:
Rather than missing your point, I regret I did not make my point strongly enough.
What does your program do to detect (if not mitigate) the contribution of “Complicit Tacticians” (whether genuine or embedded by the FBI) as a potential terrorist moves through his stages of aggression?
As for your challenge “Are you prepared to absolutely guarantee that all future Islamic Radical Converts (Lone Wolves) will only approach FBI informants?” I submit that a potential terrorist who is promised cash, collaborators, guns, bombs, and missiles by FBI confidential informants is, by definition, anything but a “lone wolf.” What’s more, while the DOJ and the FBI are careful to craft cases which are resistant to the defense of entrapment, I question the wisdom and ethics of having a CI contribute to the alleged perpetrator’s ideation, encouragement to deadly action, and refinement of the plan, deliberately serving as a “Complicit Tactician,” if I understand your parlance correctly. Law enforcement plays a dangerous and potentially deadly game when it participates in terrorist conspiracies in order to prosecute them.
To that end I’ll issue a counter-challenge. Are federal law enforcement officials prepared to absolutely guarantee that a conspirator encouraged and equipped by a confidential informant will never shake his handler and engage in a murderous act which might never have seen the light of day but for the contributions made by investigators?
In closing, I added:
Finally, on closer inspection, I take issue with your opening statement:
“The greatest threat to our Nation and its Citizens is the perpetrator of murder/suicide, whether a ‘Lone Wolf’ terrorist or simply the individual who shoots his estranged wife at a local supermarket then walks out to the parking lot and kills himself; a phenomenon that we are seeing on the rise in every community.”
By what measure is lone wolf terrorism or intimate partner workplace violence an existential threat to the republic or its citizens? And by what measure do you claim that acts of either type are on the rise in every community?
UPDATE: John responded at the LinkedIn group in part:
"You ask the question, 'By what measure is lone wolf terrorism or intimate partner workplace violence an existential threat to the republic or its citizens?' I have not stated, nor suggested, that lone wolves are an existential threat to our republic. I have stated that among human aggressors, the perpetrator of murder/suicide is the most lethal."
I suppose I could have read his statement that way...maybe I'm getting too twitchy on this topic. John responded to my other points directly at his blog. I'm going to reflect further on this.