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Man Charged in Model Airplane Plot To Bomb Pentagon

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the mad-bomber dept.

Security 515

garymortimer writes "A 26-year-old Massachusetts man with a physics degree was arrested and charged Wednesday with plotting an attack on the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol with remote-controlled model aircraft, authorities said. Rezwan Ferdaus, a U.S. citizen from Ashland, Massachusetts, planned to use model aircraft filled with C-4 plastic explosives. As a result of an undercover FBI investigation, Ferdaus, who has a physics degree from Northeastern University in Boston, was charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda for attacks on U.S. soldiers overseas. His federal public defender couldn't be reached immediately for comment."

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God dammit (4, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547866)

Well shit does this mean I have to get groped before using my RC airplanes? I hope they are willing to at least give me a happy ending if so. I'm tired of them being teases.

Rezwan Ferdaus is a moslem (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548060)

And what the hell can you expect from a moslem?

Re:Rezwan Ferdaus is a moslem (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548282)

Same as from any God fearing, church going Christian, I guess, Stupidity!

Worse, maybe it's FBI entrapment (5, Insightful)

Weezul (52464) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548418)

As I understand it, all Islamic terrorists arrested inside the U.S. were put up to it by the FBI [metafilter.com] .

You see, the FBI prefers to train it's own terrorists because doing so is far easier than catching the real deal, who might be dangerous, or hard to find, or worse not exist at all. Don't you feel safer with the FBI making sure there are terrorists to catch?

Re:Worse, maybe it's FBI entrapment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548486)

So the FBI goes looking for idiots in order to justify their jobs. Sounds familiar. Agencies like this have one thing in common: they have an interest in getting funding. Not only for the money, but because no one likes to admit being not only useless, but a net drain.

Re:God dammit (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548500)

Well shit does this mean I have to get groped before using my RC airplanes?

No, it means they are not safe for you to use... you know... like many modern firearms...
Feel free to enjoy the rubber band powered balsa wood planes instead.

eh? (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547868)

Didn't he get the memo about how SUICIDE bombers work?
And a remote control plane? Great, now the TSA's going to be doing strip searches in toy stores. (always figured groping kids was their main plan all along, this just helps them achieve it faster).

Re:eh? (1)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548294)

Didn't he get the memo about how SUICIDE bombers work?

Once?

I'm just sayin'.

Re:eh? (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548334)

A clear triumph for America's powers of cultural assimilation! While our barbaric foreign enemies carry out suicide attacks, our beneficent influence induces the local ones to attempt a weaponized UAV program! Heck, one more generation and they'll probably be saving the bombs for use against Planned Parenthood, and exercising their second amendment rights against other targets, just like the good, god-fearing folks at home who are sensible enough to fear the right god...

Re:eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548422)

Fuck, I have GOT to get a job there.

Yeah right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37547880)

Smells like a set up...

Why would anyone with half a brain do this? A model plane with a bit of C4 wouldn't do much to the exterior. So much work and risk for such little little 'gain'.

My guess is this guy pissed off someone big.

Re:Yeah right... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37547974)

Nice conspiracy theory but....
Would you ever be fooled by this setup? "Yo dude, go buy a model airplane and I'll give you some C4 and ....."
Please. Reality here.
First the article said the FBI worked with an informant. The idiot probably asked a buddy how to get some C4.
The guy wanted to do something and apparently the FBI just helped him along. I'm sure they have every meeting taped. According to the article they at least tried half-heatedly to make sure this idiot was serious. I'm sure that's on tape to.
Was he setup? Yep, the moment his intentions were clear, the FBI set him up.
BTW, its only entrapment if he can say "But for the actions of the FBI, he would never have done the crime."

The saying about online computer games "Don't be a dick", that goes for real life to. This idiot sounds like a real dick.

Re:Yeah right... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548066)

You might even say, somebody set up them the bomb.

Re:Yeah right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548478)

Nice. I haven't seen an 'all your base' reference in years.

Re:Yeah right... (2)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548162)

AC, read this http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/08/fbi-terrorist-informants [motherjones.com]
Its the old skill set of "preemption," "prevention," and "disruption"
A massive informant network (rakers) spots "a" lone wolf and an undercover operative is sent in to see what can be done.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/foreign-affairs-defense/ap-documents-expansion-of-nypd-into-domestic-cia/ [pbs.org]
The operative will propose a plot, provide explosives and then solve the crime :)

Re:Yeah right... (1)

bragr (1612015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548224)

It is called 'terrorism' and not 'demolition' for a reason, and I think that some fair sized bomb going off at about the same time at the capital and pentagon would cause a fair bit of terror.

Besides, I don't think you appreciate how big of a boom a couple pounds of C4 cause. The 'high' in 'high explosive' isn't a marketing term.

Christ, how stupid are we? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37547884)

Do not give physics degrees to Muslims. Even aside from the radical and hateful beliefs that cause them to do stupid shit like try to fly planes (real or model) into buildings, they may go running back to Iran to aid in the uranium enrichment and bomb building efforts. Our grandfathers would never have let this happen in WWII.

Re:Christ, how stupid are we? (1)

ad1217 (2418196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547920)

It never said anything about him being Muslim. (not that it matters, it is just a religious belief)

Re:Christ, how stupid are we? (2)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548072)

Yeah, more than likely he's a Unitarian.

Re:Christ, how stupid are we? (1, Offtopic)

debiankicksass (2472726) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548108)

Let me say after near death in Iraq in 2005, my son in a horrible helicopter crash in Afghanistan last year we have both dealt with radical Islam, and there is nothing that motivates these people we are fighting more than Allah. We all know who the bad guy is here and what is being fought for. For those of you that care my son and I are both Army Rangers.

Re:Christ, how stupid are we? (2)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548172)

You can grow a pair and realize that the vast majority of these nut jobs are muslim, or you can bury your head in the sand and pretend they're not. Your choice. Though it might help if you leave the west for a bit and travel the world and see for yourself exactly how true it is.

Re:Christ, how stupid are we? (2, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548290)

You can also grow a brain and realize that the vast majority of these nut jobs are mad because we just won't leave them the fuck alone, and are constantly getting involved in their countries' business in the mideast because of our addiction to oil. If we didn't have troops and military bases over there, we wouldn't have them trying to blow us up all the time. Maybe if we minded our own fucking business instead of trying to be an evil empire, we wouldn't have so many enemies.

How many suicide bombers have attacked Switzerland?

Look at history (2)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548396)

Name me a time when there wasn't violence going on in the middle east. It was all rainbows and unicorns until Israel showed up and ruined the peace party.

Re:Christ, how stupid are we? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548352)

What percentage of nut job attacks on American soil were Muslim?

Re:Christ, how stupid are we? (2)

Grave (8234) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548390)

The vast majority of these nut jobs have brown hair.
The vast majority of these nut jobs are humans.
The vast majority of these nut jobs have two ears.

Want to know that ALL of the nut jobs have in common?

THEY'RE NUT JOBS!

Re:Christ, how stupid are we? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37547922)

Hmm . . . Christians have bombed federal buildings and abortion clinics in the U.S., and buildings in Norway.

By your logic, physics degrees should not be given to Christians because they might build nuclear bombs and drop them on people.

Re:Christ, how stupid are we? (2, Insightful)

ZankerH (1401751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547970)

In a perfect world, scientific/engineering degrees would be reserved for people who display rational, scientific thought in all areas of their life, and don't suspend it when it comes to 2000 years old fairy tales promoted by authority figures, yes.

Re:Christ, how stupid are we? (5, Insightful)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548094)

Because denying religious people an education will make the world a safer, more peaceful and forward thinking place? I seriously doubt that.
I'm more inclined to think equal opportunities and education for all, regardless of their beliefs, is a very positive step forward.

Re:Christ, how stupid are we? (1, Insightful)

ad1217 (2418196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547982)

Nobody gets a physics degree! (not that Christians and Muslims are the only people in the world)

Re:Christ, how stupid are we? (1)

immaterial (1520413) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547944)

No kidding. Imagine what might have happened if we'd let German "physicists" anywhere near our nuclear weapons program!

Re:Christ, how stupid are we? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548000)

So we've established that physicists are the real villains here right?

Re:Christ, how stupid are we? (0)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548118)

Yes. Physicists. Oh, and video game players. Physicists and video gamers. Oh, and those degenerate Dungeons and Dragons players. Physicists, video gamers, and D&D players. Not too sure about Harry Potter fans either.

Re:Christ, how stupid are we? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548016)

Not sure if troll or just stupid...

Re:Christ, how stupid are we? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548048)

yeah.... its the Muslims who are stupid... no..... not you.
While I'm impressed by your ability to fill each an every one of your sentences with combinations of ignorance and hatefulness, you do realize your intellect is about on par with this joker don't you?
Stop insulting our grandfathers and for god's sake, please don't breed.

*sigh* Not Again... (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547892)

I have to wonder the nature of the situation when the charges are for, "attempting to provide material support", as in, was he in contact with anyone who was actually planning to bomb anything, or was everyone he interacted with affiliated with law enforcement, and they took a disgruntled man and groomed him into the position they're not charging him for.

We'll probably never really know, which is why I really dislike conspiracy type charges when there aren't several people charged.

Re:*sigh* Not Again... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548100)

Read the article you fucking retard.

Re:*sigh* Not Again... (5, Insightful)

rusl (1255318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548394)

Well you did make me RTFA retarded AC and I think that TWX is wrong: we probably will know. It seems this is another "conspiracy" of one where the FBI eggs on a crazy guy and supplies him with all the tools to turn his bad feelings into a charge they can pin on him. Given that this is the initial CNN article, and that is usually when the case for the FBI is presented most favourably because there has been no time for journalists to investigate more in-depth.... Well, you can read this and see that it's probably entrapment when described most favourably so likely will be conclusively that later on when more embarrassing facts start to be revealed.

from TFA:

""There is no information to indicate he was connected to a foreign terrorist organization. It appears he was radicalized watching videos on the internet. He was given the opportunity to back down, but he never wavered" from his intention to carry out the attacks, the source said."

"The FBI agents also gave Ferdaus six AK-47 assault rifles and three grenades, but they weren't functional,"

"he began supplying the FBI undercover agents with cell phones rigged to act as electric switches for improved explosive devices"

"Undercover federal agents also gave Ferdaus 25 pounds of fake C-4 explosives"

"The investigation also involved a cooperating witness"

"law enforcement official said Ferdaus posed no immediate danger to the public because undercover operatives kept in close contact with him"

Yep, pretty much the same story as the other "terrorists" the authorities have caught: (not the incompetent real terrorists that the public caught) Entrapment.

Re:*sigh* Not Again... (5, Insightful)

Flyskippy1 (625890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548420)

Yep, another case of the FBI finding a 'terrorist' by finding a mildly disgruntled guy, giving him fake weapons and explosives, suggesting a terrorist plot to him, and then 'catching' him when he did exactly what they wanted him to do.

Like these guys:
http://abcnews.go.com/US/fbi-arrests-terrorists-sting-operations-dallas-springfield/story?id=8666300 [go.com]

And these guys:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/11/families-struggle-in-the-_n_957365.html [huffingtonpost.com]

Re:*sigh* Not Again... (5, Insightful)

kylemonger (686302) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548446)

When the FBI is involved, it always turns out to be some disgruntled sad sack or sad sacks who they talk into some terrorist act. There is an endless supply of such broken-down, weak-willed people, which gives the FBI a steady stream of good PR to keep their budget fat. I'll hold my applause until they catch someone smarter than I am.

Did anyone tell him (3, Insightful)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547904)

The Pentagon is *really* big. So is the Capitol. Unless the remote controlled airplane was a full size Cessna, you couldn't carry enough C4 to do any real damage to either of them. The FBI spokesperson called him an aspiring terrorist. With the emphasis on ASS, I'd say.

Re:Did anyone tell him (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547918)

Apart from the damage to moral of having an explosive device go off within a secure perimeter, and the economic/logistical damage of having an area sealed off for a time for the ensuing investigation and repairs, you mean? You really don't get asymmetric warfare, do you? It's not all about the body-count.

Re:Did anyone tell him (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547936)

* morale, sheesh.

Re:Did anyone tell him (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548086)

I don't think it really counts as asymmetric warfare when it's just one guy. That's just somebody being dumb. It's not really a war when there's not even a way to define one of the sides as winning, is it?

Re:Did anyone tell him (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548148)

Yes, C4 going off near the Pentagon would cause a frenzy of authoritarian crackdowns, civil rights removals and economic damage. It would be quite successful in its goals.

Re:Did anyone tell him (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548318)

I'm surprised the plan didn't succeed then. I guess the FBI did its job a little too well, since there's doubtless other parts of the government that would love to have an excuse to have authoritarian crackdowns and civil rights removals.

Re:Did anyone tell him (0)

spazzmo (743767) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548326)

American asymmetry: Millions murdered by americans overeseas = police actions, 1 person with a remote-control firecracker = WAR!

Re:Did anyone tell him (1)

AngryNick (891056) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548400)

Yes, C4 going off near the Pentagon would cause a frenzy of authoritarian crackdowns, civil rights removals and economic damage. It would be quite successful in its goals.

And most importantly: I-395 would turn into a parking lot. I'd never get home from work.

Re:Did anyone tell him (2)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548488)

No worries, they'll just build the next road over the top of you. Just think of all the cement mixing jobs you'll help create!

Re:Did anyone tell him (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548194)

These things frequently end up being about hypothetical explosives that the FBI contact is telling the suspect they can obtain.

Re:Did anyone tell him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548328)

If only there were enough dollars in the Defense budget to handle such an attack. Does Congress know about this?!

Re:Did anyone tell him (4, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548322)

Well some remote controlled airplanes are actually pretty big. Here is one with a 12' wing span. It could lift say 7 kg with no real problem. http://www.hobby-lobby.com/telemaster12.htm [hobby-lobby.com] Maybe cut that to 4kg and use electric power and if you covered it in light grey you no one would see it until impact. but 4 or 7 kg would kill anyone outside near the impact point. You would aim it at an entrance time the impact for say 5:50 pm in the winter so that it is dark, Sure it wouldn't blow up the entire building but it would still suck to die or have your arm or leg blown off.

You've put a lot of thought into this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548482)

Mind staying put while I make a few phone calls? Don't worry, someone will be right with you.

Re:Did anyone tell him (5, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548404)

Clearly a mentally disturbed individual, targeted, groomed and his mental delusions preyed upon to create a opportunity for public terrorism promotion and of course prop the ego and future careers of a couple of agents.

Real indicators of delusion, using a $6,500 dollar model aircraft, grandiose plots with little action (the agents did pretty much everything) and, no indication of employment whilst living with parents.

The really disturbing things about the way it is being presented are, ohh look he had a physics degree (smells of targeting all university students in science areas as potential threats) and, he took photos of buildings (why he didn't just use street view remains or the thousands of available photos on line are further indicators of deranged thinking). Also they were careful to exclude from the press releases any indication of mental disturbance in the individual, even though it seems pretty obvious.

Missing Material (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37547910)

even in TFA. It says that he planned to do this himself, and explicitely states that he had no direct connection to a terrorist organization, where does the "attempting to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda for attacks on U.S. soldiers overseas" charge come from?

I guess it could be inferred that he THOUGHT he had a connection, that turned out to be FBI agents, but it doesn't say anything about that, and if that's not true, then should shock everyone reading, because it just implied that every one who wants to commit a terrorist act is automatically considered to be a part of Al Qaeda.

Re:Missing Material (1)

bragr (1612015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548380)

Well, it seems that the FBI has been onto this guy for 9 months, and had their informant interact with him multiple times, presumably with a wire, so if I had to guess, I'd say that at some point he said something along the lines of "I'm doing this to support Al Qaeda".

Pigs lie (0)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547972)

Never forget: When a federal or local police official is talking, they are lying. Because they are Italians.

So now we're down to catching the nutcases (5, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37547976)

A real, full-size airliner barely put a dent in the Pentagon. A remote controlled plane the size of a Cessna full of C4 would break a few windows.

This guy was a physics major and can't calculate how much C4 it would take to punch a hole in a solid concrete building?

Re:So now we're down to catching the nutcases (5, Informative)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548090)

He was going to have 6 well armed people outside the doors shooting people as they escaped. And even a small explosion would probably drive people out of the building.

Re:So now we're down to catching the nutcases (3, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548184)

That was his plan? He might have as well tried to set up an ambush outside the White House, or Congress. This plan is so badly thought out, so badly implemented and relied so heavily on the FBI providing him with bad materials that they might as well charge him with being terminally stupid. This plan wasn't going to go anywhere, and wasn't going to do any damage. If he would have been lucky, he might have been able to shoot one or two guards on the way to "the door".

Re:So now we're down to catching the nutcases (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548242)

That would work almost as well as the guy trying to bring down the bridge in New York with a cutting torch. There are a lot of people with guns in the Pentagon. They would shoot back.

Re:So now we're down to catching the nutcases (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548262)

This may come as a shock, but there is not exactly a lack of well-trained, well-armed individuals at the Pentagon. Six idiots with guns walking up to the place is not an excellent plan.

Catching nutcases was always the goal (3, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548146)

All terrorists are nutcases. No sane person decides that cold-blooded mass murder (often of people only tangentially related to the source of their anger) is the best way to accomplish their goals.

Given my druthers, I'd prefer smart terrorists. Guys like this making RC plane bombs, or that guy who tried to make a dirty bomb to set off at Obama's inauguration. They tend to be easier to catch, because they outsmart themselves. Someone less "clever" might just buy a gun and shoot some people -- see Scott Roeder, Byron Williams, Nidal Hassan, and Jared Loughner.

All different motives (anti-abortion, Glenn Beck told me to, anti-military, straight-up crazy), and all of them not-all-there. Three of the four successful, and the fourth (Williams) only failed because society was lucky enough for him to get a traffic ticket on the way to the shooting. I'll take a dent in the Pentagon's walls any day of the week.

Re:Catching nutcases was always the goal (1, Insightful)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548270)

No sane person decides that cold-blooded mass murder (often of people only tangentially related to the source of their anger) is the best way to accomplish their goals.

*cough*Hiroshima*cough*

Re:Catching nutcases was always the goal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548476)

*cough*the entire war in Iraq*cough*

Re:Catching nutcases was always the goal (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548344)

...No sane person decides that cold-blooded mass murder (often of people only tangentially related to the source of their anger) is the best way to accomplish their goals...

Wouldn't that depend on exactly what their goals are?

Re:Catching nutcases was always the goal (1)

spazzmo (743767) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548356)

No sane person (apart from american politicians) decides that cold-blooded mass murder (often of people only tangentially related to the source of their anger) is the best way to accomplish their goals. FTFY

Re:Catching nutcases was always the goal (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548378)

You, er, missed pretty much everything written by game theorists during the cold war, along with fun concepts like "saturation bombing" I take it?

Nope. Just round up the moslems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548182)

Rezwan Ferdaus is a moslem.

They are the followers of that "Peaceful Religion".

So peaceful that they bombed the WTC of New York City.

So peaceful that even a guy that studied physics in a major university can't help himself but plotting to bomb the country that helps him to get his university degree

Just round up those moslems. They _ARE_ the nutcases.

Re:Nope. Just round up the moslems (1)

spazzmo (743767) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548368)

Just don't mention that the christian crusaders literally ate babies.

Re:So now we're down to catching the nutcases (1)

NoKaOi (1415755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548302)

A real, full-size airliner barely put a dent in the Pentagon. A remote controlled plane the size of a Cessna full of C4 would break a few windows.

This guy was a physics major and can't calculate how much C4 it would take to punch a hole in a solid concrete building?

What makes you think you actually have to kill a lot of people to have a major impact? Look at how much money we spent and how many more people we killed when the bad guys killed a few thousand of us, when it's an order of magnitude less than the number of deaths by car accidents every single year in the US. How many lives could we have saved (and not tanked our economy, but I won't go too far there) if we had put all the money we've spent in the war on terror, Iraq, and Afghanistan instead into making cars safer? It's not about how many lives are lost or saved, it's about reacting and playing off people's fears. Even if nobody was killed, smashing a bomb into the pentagon would have a bigger impact politically than a bus full of people getting into an accident and killing everyone and you know it.

Re:So now we're down to catching the nutcases (5, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548386)

Actually, IIRC, the Pentagon is more than just "solid concrete", and has a lot of extra reinforcements and materials in its walls to withstand bomb blasts better than normal buildings.

An R/C plane (or even a Cessna) full of C4 wouldn't have done much besides break a few windows, as you say.

I'm going to go ahead and give the terrorists the secret here about how to destroy the US. I hope I don't get prosecuted for terrorism or treason or whatever. It's pretty simple, really: just pour a lot of money into the campaigns for far right-wing Republican candidates like Bachmann, and maybe find other ways to con the voters into electing these wackos, not just in the Presidential race but in Congressional races too. After they get elected, just sit back and watch the country implode. You can also do the same by getting more Democrats elected, but it won't be quite as fast as with the Republicans (this is probably debatable though). Of course, there's lots of corporations already pouring money into these peoples' campaigns, so maybe they should be prosecuted for terrorism... Or, you can just do nothing at all and wait; we don't need terrorists to destroy this country, we're doing a great job of it all by ourselves.

Re:So now we're down to catching the nutcases (3, Interesting)

rusl (1255318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548414)

We're down to supplying nutcases with the fake tools that make them think they are playing a "terrorist" video game. Then we charge them for their unfulfilled intention to use the tools that they though were real that we gave them.

An attempt to get back to 2001 approval ratings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37547986)

http://www.gallup.com/poll/149399/Congressional-Job-Approval.aspx

Oh Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37547990)

Just another "scare them" plot. People will act like this is the horror of the century and use it to justify curtailing rights even more.

I predict (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548030)

It's too bad that a fun hobby like RC aircraft was co-opted by the military for use in target drones and later surveillance aircraft and now weapons platforms. Of course one understands the reasons - they are cheap, well no now they are $100 million each but they used to be cheap, they are quiet, and you don't need to put a pilot in danger or have the whole logistical set up of a full airbase to support one. At some point the airbase itself becomes a target that needs to be defended. A drone can be launched or recovered from almost anywhere - depending on the drone.

It was an idea that made sense. But ideas grow, just like the concept of lighting gunpowder behind a ball of lead inside a tube. The basic properties of drones remain - almost anyone can fly one. They are cheap. They are quiet. And you can't put a hellfire missile on one but you certainly could put a couple pounds of explosives, and fly it absolutely anywhere. And I mean anywhere. If the military can do it, so can you. Because of this innate problem, my prediction is that RC aircraft - owning one, manufacturing one, or flying one, is about to be grabbed by the government and handed to the military. Just like today guns are under strict control, RC aircraft will soon be under strict control. And that's sad because the vast, vast majority of RC aircraft are flown by hobbyists for fun.

And model rocketry is next on the list.... (3)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548192)

The government is starting a new process to restrict shipment and sales of model rocket engines, after getting their asses handed to them in a big court case against rocket hobbyists a couple years ago.

Next hobby on the chopping block-- Punkin Chunkers? BattleBots? , DIY anything?

That's right citizen...just sit on your couch and watch the tube...actually building things helps the terrorists!

Re:I predict (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548246)

The same is true for guns.

Re:I predict (5, Informative)

C0L0PH0N (613595) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548274)

I fly RC planes and am a member of the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics). Congress is working to implement new legislation to control "UAV's" (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), which WILL legally control RC hobby airplanes. The AMA has been working with Congress and the FAA to help insure the viability and robustness of our wonderful sport, which prepares young folks for careers in avionics and space, as well as being a darned fun (and expensive :)) hobby. Here is a link to the AMA's government relations site: http://www.modelaircraft.org/aboutama/gov.aspx [modelaircraft.org] . This is an issue that is hot and current. Here is the current situation, which is coming to a head in the next few months, per the AMA's website: "Information received at the recent AUVSI conference indicates the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for FAA’s proposed regulation for small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) is on track for release in mid December 2011. It’s anticipated the new rule will address model aircraft operations and will provide a provision for community based organizations such as the AMA to submit their own set of standards. If adopted, these standards will provide the modeling community an alternative means of complying with the sUAS rule. At this point AMA is hard at work in developing a set of standards aimed at allowing the aeromodeling enthusiasts to continue enjoying the hobby in much the same way as they do today. ". Actions like this crazy physicist certainly don't help, but they point out the wisdom of a rational approach to a hobby that can be militarized. We'll see what happens.

Re:I predict (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548280)

my prediction is that RC aircraft - owning one, manufacturing one, or flying one, is about to be grabbed by the government and handed to the military. Just like today guns are under strict control, RC aircraft will soon be under strict control. And that's sad because the vast, vast majority of RC aircraft are flown by hobbyists for fun.

You forgot one thing: These same politicians who restrict flying aircrafts will stand by "right to bear arms" when election season rolls around.

Re: secondary targets (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548428)

At some point the airbase itself becomes a target that needs to be defended. A drone can be launched or recovered from almost anywhere - depending on the drone.

Right... because a "drone control center" - and you KNOW they will centralize it - wouldn't be just as juicy a target as an airfield? It may be easier to hide now, but eventually techniques for backtracking the control signals or whatever will make it possible to locate them. Didn't you watch SG:U or the Star Wars prequel movies? They *always* go after the drone command!

Re:I predict (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548440)

they are cheap, well no now they are $100 million each but they used to be cheap

Holy shit, are you exaggerating? You can buy an F-22 air superiority fighter jet for that price. These drones are comparatively stone-age: piston engines (IIRC), slow, poor maneuverability (compared to a fighter), etc. Those defense contractors must really be raking in the profits.

this is why we can't have nice things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548454)

My first reaction, after seeing the headline, was that here is another thing to be taken away from us because of its (fairly recently realized) potential for destruction.

Chemistry sets, model rocketry, electronics (anyone remember the recent story about the girl with the electronics project in the airport?)... one can only wonder what is next.

If you take the idea to the limit, the logical end is that all tools and/or equipment for experimentation will be outlawed and/or tightly regulated. Though I can imagine it on the horizon, its hard to imagine what it would look like. Can you imagine needing a license to own a pair of pliers?

I sure don't want to live in a world like that.
--
codk

Damages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548032)

I wonder which would have done more damage... the fake C4 nosediving onto the pentagons front lawn, or the now defaulted student loans for the physics degree.

Re:Damages (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548462)

Actually, there's a way for terrorists to take down the country without any weapons at all. Just convince lots of students to default on their student loans. In fact, that might just happen soon (without any convincing by terrorists) thanks to the crap economy and outrageous tuition prices these days. I wonder if Obama will want to bail out the lenders again while screwing over all the regular people?

Some one watches old tv shows. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548074)

Open channel D.

The man from U.N.C.L.E. had an episode that used an rc plane to attack Washington buildings.

do the math... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548096)

Hmm, let's see, a R/C plane might weigh ten pounds and carry maybe 5 pounds of explosives. The plane that hit the Pentagon weighed, oh, say ten thousand times as much, packed about 25,000,000 times the energy, and damaged the Pentagon by, say, 1%. What school did he go to, just so I make sure my son doesn't go there for his Master's?

Doesn't make sense.. (1)

AfroTrance (984230) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548128)

arrested and charged Wednesday with plotting an attack on the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol

was charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda for attacks on U.S. soldiers overseas

There is no information to indicate he was connected to a foreign terrorist organization.

Huh? How does the charge relate to the act?

Re:Doesn't make sense.. (1)

NoKaOi (1415755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548234)

Huh? How does the charge relate to the act?

Guess I gotta give you credit for at least reading the first half of the article. In the 2nd half:

he began supplying the FBI undercover agents with cell phones rigged to act as electric switches for improved explosive devices, intended to be used to kill U.S. soldiers overseas.

I assume since he's being charged with attempting to provide stuff for bad guys, the attempt was that he tried to do it, but it was only an attempt because he actually sold it to FBI agents, not Al Qaeda.

Re:Doesn't make sense.. (1)

rusl (1255318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548436)

Because they entraped a crazy guy capable of making a phone into a switch and telling him that they would give it to the bad guys he liked in an internet video. Real criminal... err... terrorist... or whatever.

The right demographic... (2)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548140)

A 26-year-old Massachusetts man with a physics degree

So, what was his Slashdot handle?

Re:The right demographic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548258)

A 26-year-old Massachusetts man with a physics degree

So, what was his Slashdot handle?

CmdrTaco

Looks like an F-4 Phantom, not an F-86 Sabre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548236)

The picture sure looks like an F-4 Phantom jet...

anyone?

Re:Looks like an F-4 Phantom, not an F-86 Sabre (1)

NoKaOi (1415755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548346)

The picture sure looks like an F-4 Phantom jet...

anyone?

Yeah, the picture is of an F-4 model, but it's probably a stock photo. The picture has now been replaced by a video, and the commentator states something like "these are the types of planes the attacker blah blah blah." That's the "news" these days, don't have a picture of the real thing? Who cares, show something else and pretend. It's the same attitude as everything else on the "news" - don't have the facts? Who cares, make them up. Don't like the facts? Who cares, make something up.

Personally, I think the F-4 looks a lot cooler than the F-86, but the F-86 looks more like a bomb with wings.

Re:Looks like an F-4 Phantom, not an F-86 Sabre (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548412)

In the CNN video they show both planes and the other is an F-86.

more FBI BS & lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548250)

The RC model shown in the picture looks to be cost several hundred dollars--nowhere near close to $6500.

It reeks of entrapment when the FBI brags about their conspiracy busts after having to supply all the materials, setup the explosives for them, and show the perps how to use them, drive them to the event and then bust the perps for 'terrorism'.

Multiple examples discussed here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaqUmtKnIHs

Re:more FBI BS & lies (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548484)

For a cheap ducted fan model a few hundred bucks is about right, but RC jets really do cost thousands of dollars.

And he almost got away with it... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548314)

If it weren't for those meddling kids at the FBI! NSFW [bit.ly]

That's not an F-86 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37548316)

The article says he had a model F-86, but any idiot knows the plane in the picture is an F-4 Phantom.

Deja-view - seen this before (1)

anon-a-mouse (2472848) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548402)

This is unreal - I just re-watched Brotherhood Of The Rose (1989) and that is exactly how they destroyed one of the bad guys. Awesome Show - Robert Mitchum, Peter Strauss, Connie Selleca, David Morse - 3 hours long, although there is an abridged version at 103 minutes. It was also presented as a TV mini-series (6 episodes I believe). Cheers.

Muslims (2)

P01d4 (867778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37548474)

After reading some of the comments here and being somewhat surprised at how badly people are at each others necks. I feel the need to provide clarification:

Consider:
The majority of Terrorists (that threaten the western world) are Muslims.
The majority of Muslims are not Terrorists.

The majority of motorists involved in fatal car crashes are male.
The majority of males are not involved in fatal car crashes.
Should all males be banned from driving?
Banning Muslims from getting degrees or treating them like mindless zealots will not help the situation.

Mod me troll, whatever. Some of the narrow minded comments I have read here makes me wonder if some of you are even nerds.

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