Photo Of The Moment: Hosam Smadi A Jordanian Terrorist?

Reuters Pictures – Hosam Maher Husein Smadi is pictured in this undated family handout photo released October 1, 2009. The Jordanian national was arrested in the United States on September 24, 2009 and charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Smadi, who had been under intense surveillance by the FBI, was arrested near a 60-storey glass office tower in downtown Dallas after he placed an inactive car bomb at the location, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

A troubled teen with a troubled past comes to the US. So they befriended him, helped talk him in to it, then gave him the bomb, the car to put it in, the target, drove him to it, gave him the cell phone to detonate it, and then arrested him for being a terrorist.

I’m sure there are many legal complexities that I am unaware of, and I’m sure the Patriot Act has its own stipulations to further muddy those waters, but in my books that’s just plain entrapment.

But every agenda needs its straw man.

Maher Smadi, father of Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, and his daughter 13-year-old Rama look at a photo album at their home in Ajloun city.


  • They could have easily kicked the kid out of the US as soon as they found out about his online conversations. Instead, they chose to pursue this path.

  • One story immediately came to my mind when I heard of this. Are you aware of the story of Hemant Lakhani? He was set up by undercover agents in NJ. They planned the attack for him, even GAVE him the weapons, and then arrested on terrorism charges and got 25 years. It’s ridiculous! They found an easy target, a man who had some “issues”, then they preyed on it and sold it off to the media as some kind of victory story.

  • The fact that he used the cell phone to actually detonate it, in my opinion is more than enough for him to be considered a terrorist. The fact that he knew that at the moment he used the cell phone to detonate a bomb that will kill innocents is more than enough.

    If every one with a “troubled” past had the tools to enable him/her to commit mass murder then we are in deep trouble. Many people with troubled past didn’t choose to kill, why would this guy be treated any deifferently?

  • Ever since I read the this, from the get go. I knew something fishy about it, I mean the kid does not fit the profile. As a matter of fact he looks like every little kid that moved to the US.

    He has some issues and I have seen plenty, so what does the FBI do? create a success story for them out of nothing.

    I do not know much about the kid nor his story, but I’m gonna assume the senario here.

    Kid goes to the US, culture shock, it is not as easy as he thought it is or as he heard it is. works for minimum wage, he is not making the income he heard people usually make in the US.

    US is hard hard work, money is not found in the streets, he sees how US government treating Muslims, and he started talking $hit, one of his friends or at the mosque (FBI informants) offer him some sort of reward (financially & religousely) then they get to report him, to prove they are worthy and they are doing their jobs, let’s stop here and talk about FBI informants.

    US is not like ISrael, you are not raped or shamed into becoming an informant. In the US people become informants to gain free money, green card. That’s it. You will not become informant to avoid jail time or anything.

    So now that you know how sleezy those informants are, let’s move on.

    The story of this kid has nothing to do with “terrorism” it is a matter of informants pressured to come up with a case and they found the lost soul to hang it on.

    To most American viewers, the kid fits the profile, Arab/Muslim/young male.
    IN reality, he doesn seem radical at all.

    The poor troubled soul is a victom of being an Arab/Muslim in the wrong time at the wrong place, in a country that is blinded by ignorance.

  • “The fact that he used the cell phone to actually detonate it, in my opinion is more than enough for him to be considered a terrorist.”

    i would argue that this is a simplistic way of looking at it.

    you cannot whittle down the makeup of a “terrorist” to a single moment. there is a build up, there is a past, there is a precedent, there is a track record of beliefs, there is a process.

    i don’t question the end result of him still being stupid enough to take that phone…i question the process. i question the process that in all probability involved the manipulation of a troubled kid. even looking at the transcript (which is definitely not the full story) you can see those elements of manipulation. its tough to deny that during this process he was molded by the fbi in to being what they wanted him to be.

    hamzah’s first comment rings very true. they could’ve kicked him out. heck, they could’ve even told him what he was doing was wrong.

  • Nas,

    You called it “stupid” to press the kill button. I call it inhumane and an act of terror. If you mean to say that he was “Terrorizing Under the Influence”, then we must define what such “influence” is? Is it his set of beliefs? Is it his troubled childhood? Is it his anger?

    At some point we have to stop rationalizing mass killing.

    Again, I am asking you to think about the moment where he decided to go ahead and “kill”. I mean, come on! Sometimes we think twice before stepping on a roach! Now, if he is truly mentally ill and is not responsible for his actions, then thats another issue..But reading the snippets that sprung here and there, we can rule out that he is insane.

  • @muhanned: im not rationalizing mass killing. terrorism is wrong in all its forms. but there is something to be said about taking someone like this, and influencing him to the point where he has resolved to kill, then providing with what he needs to carry that out. i am with you when it comes to that moment, but in this of all cases, there is a process of manipulation to consider. i am asking you to think about the process leading up to that moment.

  • I dont get it.. WIll someone explain please.

    So the FBI covertly set him up and then arrested him?

    Or was the FBI not involved?

  • Point taken. But What the aspects of the process that shouldn’t have lead him to that moment? What you are suggesting is that if the same process was applied to people with a similar “profile” to his, then they would have done the same thing? See, I don’t think that this is true.. I am sure they used this process on many people, but why didn’t others end up in his position?

    Again, the argument that he was enabled and was provided with the resources is not “bullet proof”. See, if we decide on doing something bad, wrong, and/or illegal then we can find the resources to do so. There are drugs out there, but most people are doing drugs. We do have many chances to steal, shop lift, destroy property, etc.. but most of us choose not to. He chose to go along, he chose to drive the car, he chose to take the cell phone, and he chose to dial the number. During that long process he had many chance to bail out, he had a lot of time to reflect, he had many memories to remember, he had the chance to think about the lives he will destroy..Yet he overcame all of those “hurdles” and chose to reach the end line..I say he is a terrorist.

    Then again, all of the above is based on what I read and saw.

  • Yes, he was made to believe that he was in contact with terrorists but why did he continue corresponding with them if he knew that they are terrorists? We know what was the intention of those agents but what was his intention? He intended and planned of killing people and the plan itself is a crime.

  • @mohanned: i have no doubt about the choices he made…choices he should be held accountable for.

    the question here is about the degree to which those choices were influenced by external factors. if he had done this all by himself and evolved naturally in that direction while the fbi monitored him from afar, swooping in to stop him during the deed, that’s another story. but to influence him for that prolonged period is to help lead him and push him down that path.

    if i assess that you are someone who is suicidal at the moment, i have three choices. i can convince you from doing it, i can avoid interfering, or i can give you the rope.

    where does this case fall?

  • The fact the he chose to kill others and not kill himself in the process is a whole other dimension.
    But OK..How much influence do you think it will take for someone to commit mass murder? Some times friends can be bad influence.. I mean they migth get you to drink, do drugs, steal, and in the case of mobs maybe kill..But taking influence to the degree of mass murder is a whole new dimension in the 3-d world we live in! If his religious beliefs created a fertile ground for being receptive to such influence then we do have a serious problem.

    I guess he is an outlier, and should be treated as such. If what we read is true, then rationalizing for the sake of just reationalizing, for me, is plain wrong.. I guess “Ennama el a3mal belneyyat” falls short in this case..

  • “you cannot whittle down the makeup of a “terrorist” to a single moment. there is a build up, there is a past, there is a precedent, there is a track record of beliefs, there is a process.”
    You totally can whittle it down, a terrorist might not be a life long pursuit it might be just an impulsive decision of revenge or for whatever reason that made a person commit a terrorist act . and it all boils down to a single instant when he pushes the button.
    You can argue entrapment and you can argue many other things but the fact of the matter is that HE WAS WILLING TO PUSH THE BUTTON… his brother didn’t !
    His brother has faced everything this kid has faced and choose otherwise, and that just erases 90% of the excuses.

  • At the end of the day he gave Jordanians a bad name and dented our reputation!

    He is a stupid young man who should be punished for his actions regardless if he was influenced or not.

    Does he not see whats going on around him in the world? Has he been sleeping for the last 8 years? I mean WTF is wrong with him what a complete idiot.

  • @tambi: something like that

    @mohanned: i would say it takes a great deal of influence to get to that point. these are usually not a spur-of-the-moment thing such as everyone at the party was smoking so therefore i felt pressured to try it. there was an investment of resources over a length of time.

    @bambam: valid and convincing point. i’ll concede that we can label him a terrorist due to his willingness to push a button, if we can also concede that one of the primary reasons that helped him arrive at that moment (as opposed to his brother) was due to external influences that gave him the tools and the opportunity.

  • Nas,
    If you concede, I will do so.. I don’t see this as an issue to be negotiated..He is either a terrorist or not, it can’t be more black and white than that..What does one need to be called a terrorist? To actually kill people? Even so, you will still find people who will try to rationalize such acts!

    The guy is an outlier. The influence process, if we assume that it was applied to many others, only worked on him..As such, we can rule out the influence as a “primary” reason.. This type of behavior is not the kind where “social” influence is a “primary” driver. You have to keep in mind that he had many choices; the “influence” was not there 24/7.

  • Just read the statement and FBI report. I dont understand when they say that “join Hamas or go back to Pakistan to Join the Taliban”

    Was Smadi in Pakistan?

    Either way I still stand by what I wrote above.

  • At the end of the day he gave Jordanians a bad name and dented our reputation!

    As if Jordan has a good reputation already! Zarqawi took care of that a long time ago.

  • I’m sure they’re going to argue for entrapment as a defense, and that they’ll say something like he was too scared to pull out of the deal once he was convinced that he was dealing with real Al-Qaeda members, fearing for his own life.

    In one of the conversations between him and the undercover agents, they (pretending to be Al-Qaeda members) ask him if he wants out of the operation, and try to assure him that they will just forget about it, but he chooses to go on with it.

  • how many criminals/psychopaths who would commit mass murders anyday if given explosives in the us?
    what is the crime rate in us?

    it seems like a good tactic to seduce terrorists into doing mass murders, do they use that tactic on american criminals?

  • it seems like a good tactic to seduce terrorists into doing mass murders, do they use that tactic on american criminals?

    All the time actually. Like someone mentioned before, they use undercover agents online to find child predators. Undercover agents are also often used to catch people who are looking for drugs, or to catch people who solicit prostitutes.

  • wait a minute? they use it all the time?
    so give fake bombs to haters to get them on terror charges???
    how about arresting him instantly ?

  • YAZAN-As an American I don’t think his actions say anything about Jordanians or Jordan’s reputation.
    He alone bares responsibility for his decision.

  • Tero, I think this case proves that the FBI is conducting these undercover ops, and this one case represents a fish that took the bait.

    So I would say most likely yes.

    But my original answer was regarding whether they use these tactics against American criminals, which they do too to catch online child predators, drug dealers and addicts, etc.

  • i’d really say we have to teach our society to lose this crazy idea of the leave to america in search of that superior life we see on the movie’s!build up economy!hold on to our own youth!become the america they all want to go to,and non of this would have been…

  • See this to justify what Israel. Want cause to strike the Muslim nations. Arab nationalism is considered
    the reason of impartially! I want you to know proven fact! Turkey and SaudI Arabia is allowing Britain
    and America. Within 2yrs the least to invade Iran! Shall it happen and why? Israel has nuclear weapons.

    You know and aware why the world court. Order investigation of arsenals why? Protect of America they
    seek the Middle East. Commodities and so called act to stop terror! There is no terror this all lip service!
    And besides this youth did not do anything! FBI,M-16,MOSA and French units. Made the story up so
    if your from Arab gulf nations. Boycott France there against the Deen humiliating us! Attire and now
    backing Israel plans for us? Stop purchasing there aircraft without. There be no success EU nor Airbus
    this my opinion. So Israel stops and check West Bank what. Next every nation has to get permission to
    stay independent? Yes baffling so answer me! There are no terrorist you murdered innocent citizens
    of Gaza 2008! Orders of American and Saudi governments. And have the audacity to decry terrorism!!!!!!

  • whether it is entarpment or not the guy is a complete fool!! terrorism is a dirty game so FBI must use dirty tactics to atleast try to lower the possibilities of another attack. furthermore all secret service agencies around the world probably use the same tactics.

  • Jordan prestige has been tarnished! Reason an national being accused of what? No I shall never believe
    this! So the genocide of Palestinian people! Was also a host? I concur I pray King Abduallah shall
    have support. To combat this disrespect to Jordan …but okay! For Israel to cross over border to
    it’s so could friendly nations! Seek what to conquer I do not believe this! There more in the world besides
    are conflicts! What comes to mind South Americans oppositions! African and Asian why Arab nationals
    to create the false assurance. Terrorism in the Middle East I am writing my President. Of Algeria
    stop supporting French commerce. Yes brothers they insulted many times and over! Air Qatar and
    Gulf airways anticipated. To purchase over combine 500 planes shall it benefit. Arab economies “besides”
    I would hope. His Excellency shall demand this brothers release! This an insult to national accord!

  • Idris I disagree with you! Jordan has no place for terrorists. If his Majesty was to interfere and request the freedom for this terrorist it will do more harm than good for Jordan and it’s prestige.

  • Yes but you forgotten the mediator whom? Al Saud they do not care about us! This lad has been used
    as rock! Where all tired of the same jargon! Jordan can not do it allow with pressure from. Italy
    Russia and Asian nations. Whom own half of EU and American debt. We have resolution forget
    China they support Israel! For those whom are pro Arab against Iran! This your eye opener! Without
    corrective lens! No the Israeli why? That is allow us to destroy political harmony. And all is said,
    it not us as citizens. The meek puppet governments what next! Brothers if Israel strikes Iran. You
    laugh and think what they expect! The mind game Arab majority is tired of Old Persians. Wild Tales
    of Arabian desert well guess what? Your next and allowing to be the policeman of Ummah! Your trading
    free American. And dishonest Saudi Arabia this has nothing to do with. Islam but nationalism read
    before it is to late. The media is lying Shia aganist Sunni this not the idea. Israel has portrayed
    Iran the next anti-Jewish state. Well before you say “Judaic” cultural Iran has . Always treated with
    equality Jews and Christians with content! So stop the lies do practice your faith? No answer your
    lying on this young man. You continue to spy upon nations of Middle east. Go to Pakistan Israel
    tell them there terrorist. Find the answer for the readers ignore. What you consider not interesting
    it could be your son. Or nation next we need to unite Egypt. Is not the enemy nor Libya Saudi
    Arabia fears a strong Leventine along. Progressive Muslim societies I know this. Without personalizing
    my comments. They fear Iraq cause the government downfall and Somali. When Somali government
    was seeking investment in economy. Especially natural gas as Yemen cause internal strive. Black Iris
    some rich Saudi shall read. This and pay to have it remove: they enjoy. Play double hand diplomacy
    if think there for us! Would day you’ll see otherwise. Saudi’s believe Muslim nations are backward
    and need there example to lead them! Think again I follow the Sunnah Jordan shall get this
    young man’s freedom! Which he is entitled … Israel is still making false claims. Not for peace that is!

  • Syed, harood or whatever other name you use … PLEASE USE ARABIC, or URDU or whatever ur mother tongue is because trying to read what you wrote is making my eyes bleed.
    Either way i think this guy is slightly better than the previous one (something asfour) who was trying to have sex with an underage girl and was nabbed for it 😛

  • He was caught red-handed. He didn’t care about the countless lives he was about to destroy by pushing that button or the misery of the grieveing families left behind. So why should anyone care about him?

  • my point is…how many criminals in america who would be doing the same thing? i mean they would be arresting thousands..can they give out fake bombs or “sting operations” and start arresting???

    im not defending this boy…hes dumb enough to surf terrorist messege boards.

    come on!! real terrorists arent dumb to be chatting on sites,,they know they are all monitored now.
    they are professionals.

    finally, beleive me or dont, but every single terror attack happened since the last 10 years globally must have got help from intelligence power agencies (dis regarding nationality). dont beleive for a second that a group of terrorist plan and execute an attack without getting any help because they need weapons and info about locations etc etc and all that always goes through intelligence agencies.

    its a brave world

  • see call me crazy but i think 9/11 was kind of similar .. in the sense that it was some grand production and not just a random act of terrorism ..

  • I appreciate the interest but what? Can we do are governments buy. Into the protection blanket:
    the guy is innocent. Not going into theories nor media. Please you decide, myself he is innocent!

  • Well the truth is only small fraction. Understand the political polices, yes Persians! And proud of it!
    when converse upon the resolution. With most Arabs your indifferent: regarding. The accused he
    was framed but why? To justify the alleged what? Act of terror UK and America shall protect you.

    Harood thank you for being accurate. Your aware of the regional “Enemy” Al Saud. If Saudi gave
    the under developed nations aid. Billions you side with them, so let’s be fair! Jordan needs to act
    upon the allegations! Or cut economic ties with America is impossible. The answer is no what next
    American military bases. Iran is great we are not your enemy this Arab pride. Admit it retrospect,
    excluding. Iran shall appease not Israel but Saudi Arabia. Hopefully, this man shall be released.

  • JahAmehr bin Hossem/Omar/Harood/Idris/Syed/Haji bin Mejhi : please stick to one screen name so that people are able to follow your line of thinking and respond to it accordingly. i would also advise writing in arabic if its the language of comfort.

  • “So they befriended him, helped talk him in to it, then gave him the bomb, the car to put it in, the target, drove him to it, gave him the cell phone to detonate it, and then arrested him for being a terrorist.”

    Who told you that? who told you he was approached and made to do that? And why would the FBI give a $hit about randomly staging something like this?

    Trust me, they have enough work to do.

  • I have seen all comments and I believe regardless of him being a teenager or not..he is responsible for his actions. The idea that he got a cultural shock reaching the US does not stand..! It was proven that the idiot was surfing on Islamist websites prior to the plot. Most intelligence units, FBI is not an exception, will at times use similar ways of tempting, leading prospects to the crime scene and end up catching them red handed. You are trying to tell me that if JID has suspicions on a ‘target’ will they not lead him ..they are justified to use whatever means to bring him is a country national security we are talking about here..

    I feel sorry for his family though but it is the make of his own hands. It is ugly that this individual odd behaviour will have a negative reflection on our reputation as Jordanians; it will not be long until some media agencies in the West use it to prove their constant stupid arguments that Arabs are the source of terrorism.

  • As it was already pointed out, they lure potential child rapists in like this all the time. I’m sorry that this guy was so messed up, but I don’t believe that “they” made him do anything. They were doing their job.

    I am honestly much more concerned about all those people branded “illegal combatants” and carted off to Hades-knows-where.

  • Naseem,

    I disagree with you, I think they have the right to build a case in order to defuse potential threats.

    In this style, the assumption I guess is to get to those potential threats before the real danger gets to them. Or in that case of underage sex, before the potential threat reaches an underage.

    On the other hand, I do not deny internal agenda of the FBI. They can do some magic for some money, which gives them another reason to build cases up. If the first case avails, I think its a right one, tough luck they got to him before the the social system assistance did.

  • I think us Jordanians need some sort of objectivity here. This 19 year old man was caught on tape trying to cause a mass damage. It is not even OK to think about doing such a thing, and we need to start emphasizing that in our educational system and media.

    No one accepted it when Sajida Rishawi tried to bomb a hotel in Amman b/c she just lost her husband. I don’t know much about this man’s mental issues, but this is absolutely not an excuse. The only way the authorities might have mis-handled this is if they tried to push him hard to do it and he was in no mental capacity to make the right choice. If you are this troubled to kill your-self along side with others, then you belong to either a mental institute or jail.

    By the way, our police and intelligence do such set ups all the time. They only report it briefly in news papers few months or even years when the court verdict is given. and it is usually given a minor attention by the press.

  • I think this boy behavior is expected to be like this, it is the result of what his family and culture learned him about US, as the core of the evil, so he said to his self, after having fun with those apostates and live with them eating their food and playing with the money from working there, it is the time now to return to the god and to kill them !!!! OMG that is the truth, which no one want to admit, it is something cultivated in their heart by Generations to hate the “others” and they apply the role “if you are not my friend you are my enemy” let we imagine that this operation was real, how many people will die??? will the god be happy by that!!! killing what he creates!! I dont think so.

    I hope that the US government will do the max possible punishment to that terrorist.

  • He did it, he knew about it, he wasn’t drugged or anything, ok all of youz put yourself in his place would u do it ???? I’d f****g spit on them not actually do it….
    Our people r so emotional they lost their reason and logic…
    he is a killer stop rueinning our image abroad do something useful and respectful to your nation and your culture!!!… look at other nations argghhghhh
    stop all this hypocrisy
    religion from outside and crap from inside??
    Iv seen our people abroad seen this type of couldn’t socialize blend with the people?? u knw ill head to the mosque!!! u knw wht? this ugly long bearded guy who is wearing 4th century clothes is my friend, he’s right they r infidels look how their women dress and drink,, he’s right we should bomb them
    he should be thrown in jail and in jordan he should be punished more arggggggg……

  • @Ahmad Al-Sholi: I have no problem with law enforcement building a case against a would-be terrorist. that is to be expected. however, looking at what details we, the public, have been told about this specific case, I am lead to believe that this was a person who had intent (which in itself is wrong) but that intent was amplified by the FBI who gave him opportunity. mixing both is what produces an act of terrorism, to say nothing of supplies (which they also provided).

    in other words, it seems, based on what we know so far, what this boy had was one urgent element in the entire equation: intent. and if that’s the case then i would argue the fbi could team up with the cia and make a great deal of arrests all around the world with regards to people who have ever merely thought of blowing something up on american soil. heck, if they put religion, ideology and fanatacism aside, and focus just on the people they’ve affected in the past 8 years (iraq and afghanistan),they’d have their plates full. all they have to do is take their intents and show them what to bomb, how to bomb, and give them the bomb.

    in this day and age, i’m not so sure that’s how the process is supposed to work.

    in this day and age, i shudder every time people argue for the premise and the conclusion, while ignoring the process completely.

    that process is important. it’s everything.

    that’s my two piasters

  • All well and true Nas as you stated “intent. and if that’s the case then i would argue the fbi could team up with the cia and make a great deal of arrests all around the world with regards to people who have ever merely thought of blowing something up on american soil.” But there is a big difference with having intent and actually going through with what you think is the real thing. Even getting to the point of having that intent amplified means that the guy is wrong. The FBI just I think, wanted to know how far he wanted to go and in the end he went all the way. So he attracted their attention with the intent, he prolonged the relationship through ideas and interest and finally got arrested for the action.

    There are many sites under surveilance, many phones being tapped and many emails monitored. I think they have tried this tactic with many and a large majority probably didn’t show further interest express ideas and noway did they act.

    Furthermore it is people like that who real terrorist prey upon and they finally become terrorists themselves.

    The guy was in the wrong from the start, he was an easy target and he got rightly nabed for it.

    His brother was arrested for possesion of a control substance and had not seen the Hosam for a long time, clearly Hosam was unhappy in life and thought that by blowing up a tower and killing innocent humans he would be rewarded in the afterlife, this gave him a sense of security and a reason to go ahead. Personally I dont think he was intelligent to the point where he updated himself on current affairs or was planning to take actions for political reasons. He is s selfish young man who was clearly thinking of himself and ended up in the wrong hands.

    Forget about him he’s old news now!

  • All the more to perpetuate the ‘war on terror’ farce. How can you wage war on something that didn’t really exist as a worldwide phenomenon? Simple. You create it.

  • this kind of entrapment they use on young kids playing on the internet i guess it is working for them i cant trust any one that would pull a stunt like this on a a 18 year whose car whose bomb whose phone you dont let this drag out for months wine and dine a youngster i sure he will never want to come to america if he is luckey enough to get to go home im sure he could write a book it might be suprising may be a good seller i just hope every thing works out for hosam and his father and little sister

  • i believe this goes from entrapment to god only knows what else the special agents done there home work im not happy with snagging kids off the internet and putting there lives in danger how would they like some one to trick there kids in to murdering someone not nice cant go alone with any one that would do a 18 year old this way it makes me want to leave america and never come back shame on you how do you sleep how do you live with your self

Your Two Piasters: