Friday, January 15, 2016
Overview of the John Nuttall Entrapment case - Update
While we wait for CSIS to comply with the court order cough, scoff, rolly eyes.... I thought it would be prudent to review the entrapment case that involved John Nuttall. Bill Tieleman made reference to the RCMP terrorist quotas. He also made reference to a disturbing trend in the United States.
Bill Tieleman reported that “James Cromitie (was) a low-level ex-drug dealer who converted to Islam. A well-paid FBI informant befriended the Walmart worker and promised him $250,000 and a new BMW car to fire Stinger surface-to-air missiles at U.S. military planes and plant bombs at Jewish targets in New York.” Why would they do that?
This goes well beyond entrapment. I bet ya he didn’t make the Stinger surface-to-air missiles himself. Someone provided him with it which, as Bill Tieleman observes, facilitated the attack. He points out that “questioning RCMP actions is not to condone illegal activity.” Nobody thinks terrorism is OK. Yet questioning how CSIS or the FBI set people up is a real concern.
Every crime requires a means and a motive. If the police provided one or both of those, then that's entrapment. For example, if an under cover police officer walks by a drug dealer standing outside the Front Room in Surrey or outside the Carnegie Centre in the DTES and the drug dealers tries to sell them drugs, then that is a fair bust. We wish they would. However, if a police agents finds someone who wasn't a drug dealer and offers them money or threatens to harm their family if they don't sell drugs then that is entrapment.
In the James Cromitie case the FBI promised to give the former drug dealer $250,000 and a new BMW to fire Stinger surface-to-air missiles at U.S. military planes and plant bombs at Jewish targets in New York. That was the motive. Before the well paid FBI informant befriended the Walmart worker, he had no motive or even the notion to commit such a heinous act. He didn't have the means either. The FBI gave him the Stinger surface-to-air missiles and the bombs to plant at Jewish targets. In that case there was no means or motive without the FBI. That is entrapment. Offering to give a drug addict a new car and pay him $250,000 to perform a criminal act hasn't saved the world from a terrorist. It just created one.
Likewise in this case, a CSIS informant befriended the Surrey drug addict. They started buying him food for which he was very grateful. Then they started giving him cash. How much cash we are not told. We aren't told if they gave him drugs but everyone knows if you give a drug addict cash, they are going to buy drugs with it. If you stop giving them cash they are going to be desperate for cash to buy more drugs.
I doubt the CSIS informant promised to pay John Nuttall $250,000 and a new BMW. However, they did provide a more sinister motive. They threatened his life and the life of his family if he did not cooperate with them. That was the motive. After they had given them all that money and groceries, they revealed that Mr Big wasn't a religious friend who wanted to help them out of the goodness of his heart. Mr Big turned out to be a crazed terrorist who wanted to plant a bomb and kill people. When John and Amanda found that out, they were legitimately afraid for their life.
In the Crown's own evidence, one of the wiretaps heard John scold Amanda who said do what he says. This guy can go from being Mr Nice to a Monster really fast. John and Amanda lived in a basement suite with John's 80 year old Caucasian Christian grandmother. The CSIS informant had to get him away from his grandmother to coerce him into committing a criminal act. The first time they took them to a hotel John and Amanda played video games the whole time. That is when the sh*t hit the fan. One of the police agents said we have to call this thing off. These two couldn't plan a bag lunch. Yet they proceeded nonetheless and turned up the pressure.
While driving them around the CSIS agent said Mr Big has spent a lot of money on you. He's not going to be very happy with your lack of progress. He wants you to help him plan an attack. You need to come up with some ideas. First they suggested a military target. Then the informant said no we need to find an event where there's lots of people gathered. Amanda says there's lots of people at firework displays. That's it the informant said. Mr Big wants you to do that one. The CSIS informant threatened them to come up with ideas, then told them which idea that Mr Big wanted them to do. The CSIS informant was the one that told them to plant a bomb at the Victoria fireworks display. That was the only motive. They were legitimately afraid Mr Big was going to kill them if they didn't do what they were told. That is why the 80 year old grandmother moved out of the basement suite right before the arrest. She was afraid someone was trying to kill them.
In the Crown's own evidence John said he did not want to kill civilians and that the thought of killing innocent people made him sick. John was never radicalized. He was set up and conned.
The CSIS informant drove them around shopping for bomb parts that Mr Big told them to buy with money they gave him. The CSIS informant had to drive them around because the marks didn't have a car and couldn't afford bus fare to go shopping. From day one when the police had the brand new pressure cookers on display it was obvious someone else bought those for them because they didn't have enough money for food let alone pressure cookers or bomb parts. Not only that but they did not have the knowledge how to make a bomb out of the parts they were instructed to buy.
The second time they took them to a hotel John was stressed. They didn't play video games this time. This time John thought Mr Big was going to kill them so he was frantically trying to make a bomb out of the parts. Yet he was unable to do so. He had to be kept reminded to stay on task because he was high on drugs. They gave him gun powder to make it explode but he had no idea how to ignite it. Then they finally gave him some C-4 to put in it. There is no way a Surrey drug addict is going to have access to gunpowder let alone C-4 unless the police give it to him. That was the means. Without the CSIS informant John and Amanda did not have the means or the motive to commit this heinous crime. That is entrapment pure and simple.
The legal opinion has been released.