If you ask the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its media allies, terrorists ensnared by FBI sting operation are victims of entrapment; they're mentally ill; or both.
Media coverage, such as a recent Cleveland Plain Dealer article about a sting operation, reinforces this simplistic and inaccurate narrative. A man charged with plotting an attack on an Independence Day parade is cast as a hopeless dupe, someone who only seemed threatening due to law enforcement's goading. That's because evidence has shown that the defendants had already established an interest in doing harm before the FBI intervened. CAIR concedes this point, but it attributes this to the "the climate of fear that permeates our post-9/11 world."
Sting operations "waste precious taxpayer dollars and take the agency away from the mission of protecting our nation by tracking and foiling actual terrorism and crime," CAIR's Los Angeles chapter argued in a 2009 press release.