Hussam "Hot Air" Ayloush
Yesterday, the FBI in Los Angeles announced the arrest of Mark Steven Domingo, a 26-year-old Muslim convert living in Reseda, California, who is charged with planning to set off explosives and kill people as revenge for the attack against two mosques in New Zealand.
The Southern California CEO of CAIR, Hussam "Hot Air" Ayloush, is in damage control mode with his public response. Once again, a CAIR official implies that the FBI entrapped a Muslim.
Before Mr Ayloush gets too wound up and invested in his entrapment conspiracy theory, let me explain a thing or two about entrapment law. I say this based on my own 25-year career as a Customs and later DEA agent.
Entrapment exists when law enforcement (or their informant) actually lead a person to commit an crime that person was not predisposed to commit. Predisposition is the key word. In this case, the question is-was Domingo predisposed to commit an act of terror prior to coming into contact with the FBI or its informant acting undercover? It appears from the information provided in the FBI press conference that he was predisposed- putting it out online what he wanted to do.
The fact that an FBI undercover agent or informant made contact with Domingo and acted with him-apparently delivering a fake bomb- is not entrapment. A person who is predisposed to commit a crime may be "afforded the opportunity" by an undercover operative. In this case, the undercover person pretended to help Domingo in his mission. Another example would be if an agent infiltrated a drug ring and was tasked with picking up a shipment of drugs and delivering it from point A to point B or person A to person B. That's not entrapment; it's just good undercover work. Same with an agent being introduced as a buyer to a drug dealer, who was already in the business. It is not entrapment when the drugs are delivered and the dealer is arrested. Again, prior statements or acts by a defendant and taped conversations will generally effectively counter any claims of entrapment.
If CAIR hacks like Ayloush want to (once again) claim FBI entrapment, good luck. That will be dealt with at trial. There are many safeguards and rules that go along with undercover work or using informants. These will be properly examined at trial. I suspect once this case is adjudicated, H.A. will once again have egg on his face.
And don't be fooled: CAIR is not relieved about anything. They are in damage control mode.