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Posted at 3:30 PM ET, 12/13/2010

Terror plot suspect ordered held

By Maria Glod

A Baltimore man accused of plotting to blow up a military recruiting station was "grinning from ear-to-ear" and said "Allah Akbar" as he prepared to detonate what he thought was a powerful bomb, federal prosecutors said in court Monday.

Antonio Martinez, 21, who recently converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Hussain, was determined to kill members of the military who he saw as a threat to Muslims, and he also tried to recruit others to participate, prosecutors said. Ultimately, the FBI learned of Martinez's intentions through an informant, joined the plot and supplied him with a fake car bomb that he tried to detonate.

But defense attorney Joseph Balter said in court Monday that his client was "incapable" of carrying out an attack on his own and was caught in a "government sting operation.

"They induced him to be involved in an act that was clearly the design of the government, Balter said.

Arguments made at a detention hearing Monday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore are a preview of what is to come as courts consider the FBI's increasing use of undercover agents who monitor extremists, pose as co-conspirators and sometimes even provide the means to carry out an attack.

The FBI's tactic has been criticized by some Muslims, who accuse government agents of trying to entrap members of their community. Legal experts say the tactic can be effective in securing more serious charges, and that if the accused intended to carry out an attack and wasn't persuaded by the government it is not entrapment.

Federal prosecutors said it was Martinez's idea to target the recruiting center and that he brought up the idea of using a bomb. They said he was given several opportunities to back out of the plan, but he chose to press forward.

Martinez even planned to video the explosion after he detonated the bomb from a site within eyeshot of the Catonsville recruiting station, prosecutors said.

"We are not criminals," Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Manuelian said Martinez said into the video. "We are mujahideen."

At the conclusion of the hearing, Magistrate Judge Susan K. Gauvey ordered Martinez held pending trial.

Gauvey said Martinez would be a danger if released and his alleged conduct was "erratic and irrational."

But she also said that the defense would pursue i's argument that the FBI had entrapped Martinez but that it was "an issue for another day."

[This post has been updated.]

By Maria Glod  | December 13, 2010; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Baltimore, From the Courthouse, Maria Glod, Maryland  
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Muhammad Hussein former Mr. Martinez who converted to Islam said he is not a criminal but mujahideen. He acted as an enemy terrorist combatant of radical Islam religion warriors of Muslim mujahideen. He intended to carry out the terrorist act to kill and was not persuaded by the FBI. The FBI is the only agency effectively prosecuting the war on terrorism and they are getting the job done.

Support the FBI for their courage and outstanding leadership to enforce law and order. They have investigative skill supreme. Write Congress to enact resolutions to provide awards to the FBI.

Posted by: klausdmk | December 13, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Muhammad Hussein former Mr. Martinez who converted to Islam said he is not a criminal but mujahideen. He acted as an enemy terrorist combatant of radical Islam religion warriors of Muslim mujahideen...

I tend to agree. The Soviet/liberal/Zionist/ S African solution of treating enemy as common criminals who can only be legitimately tried in civilian courts was stupid from the start.

Framing warfare as a criminal justice matter that encompasses "innocent civilians" and "guilty people who are armed" is also beyond stupid. In war, there are allies, subversives within the allied side, neutrals, and enemy combatants and non-combatants.

Waging war by criminal law eforcement rules? Stupid, too. As criminal law is mostly reactive, and would always give butchering enemy the initiative in combat, while "rule of civilian law" focused on static defense.

Almost forgotten in the liberal's defense of this Islamoid, Muhammad Hussein, is 'entrapment' means little in war. What is more salient is Muhammad Hussein revealed himself as a lethal Enemy Within who for public safety, must be detained and held until the war with Radical Islam is over.

And lets not forget that "war crimes" are only levied against a miniscule number of enemy captured during or grabbed by victors for trial or tribunal after a war is finished. Like 0.1% of Germans involved in WWII killing. You either kill the captured or vanquished, or you capture hold then release the vast bulk of them because they aren't "criminal" or a trial process is just too expensive and cumbersome to cycle tens of thousands, let alone millions through.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | December 13, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

If the Muslims/Islamists in America are concerned about the tactics and effectiveness of our F.B.I., that indicates that we're on the right track and is a nice complement to our F.B.I.

Those Muslims/Islamists becoming uncomfortable here in America are encouraged to go back where they or their parents came from. They've no one to blame but themselves.

Perhaps they'll be more comfortable with Sharia enforcement in their countries of origin.

Posted by: CharlesGriffith1 | December 13, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Where are all the terrorists the FBI hasn't run a sting against. The FBI couldn't possibly have the resources to sting every potential terrorist (aka angry young Muslim men)in the USA. It completes a few successful operations a year.

You might expect that the ones the FBI hasn't caught up with would be exploding bombs and gunning down shoppers quite frequently. Certainly gunning down shoppers is as easy as apple pie in "right to carry" land.

Yet all we read and hear about are cases where the potential terrorist is too incompetent or unmotivated to do anything violent without lots of help from the FBI.

I wonder how many potential bank robbers the FBI could set up if it started visiting bars in high poverty/unemployment areas.

Posted by: sherm1 | December 14, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

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