Groups like MPAC are missing the forest for the trees when it comes to domestic radicalization. That's the conclusion of Patrick Dunleavy, writing that while these Islamist organization's criticize law enforcement tactics, they "refuse to see how the process of self-radicalization works and the need for law enforcement's intervention."
Writing in the New York Post, Dunleavy, the former deputy inspector general of the New York State Department of Corrections, highlights the role of confidential informants and undercover operations in disrupting domestic terror plots. These same policies are frequently lambasted as entrapment by MPAC and its ilk, and the failure to recognize their effectiveness should cause the law enforcement community to second-guess its outreach to these organizations.
As a recent analysis by the Investigative Project on Terrorism demonstrated, MPAC has been hypocritical at best when it comes to the use of informants. While conceding that "informants are an extremely important tool that can be sued to great effectiveness in various kinds of criminal investigations, including counterterrorism ones," MPAC has also made the false and incendiary charge that the FBI uses informants to actually instigate terrorist plots.
As Dunleavy demonstrates in highlighting the role of undercover operations in disrupting recent terrorist plots in Portland and Baltimore, the effectiveness of these tactics is not just theoretical. Both Mohamed Osman Mohamud and Antonio Martinez were prevented from bombing a Christmas-tree lighting festival in Oregon and a military recruitment center in Maryland, respectively, due to the work of undercover officers. And as Dunleavy explains, "providing an opportunity for someone predisposed to commit a crime is not entrapment. It's simply one of our few tools for protecting ourselves from self-radicalized jihadists."