Chicago teen faces federal terrorism charges

Freedom of speech and religion are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and most citizens take potential infringement upon these freedoms very seriously. According to many state and federal laws, police are not allowed to infringe on these freedoms without warrants or similar proof of evidence. When they do so, it is usually in pursuit of those facing serious state or federal charges.

An 18-year-old Chicago teen faces charges related to the United States’ fight against terrorism, after the FBI caught him in a sting operation designed to determine if he would act out his threats related to domestic terrorism. The FBI became suspicious of the male teen when he allegedly began sending out messages via email about a violent jihad and killing Americans. They then embarked on a months-long project that would allow agents to earn his trust and supply him with fake tools to create a supposedly real domestic bombing.

The teen reportedly drove a Jeep Cherokee that he believed carried a bomb able to blow up a Chicago-area club on Sept. 14. Officials state that he left the vehicle near the club and walked a distance away before activating what he believed to be a detonator that would set off the bomb. No one was hurt or injured in the staged bombing.

Police and law enforcement organizations must take special precautions to avoid trampling the rights of those who speak contrary to public opinion. Those caught in such an operation by the FBI or other organizations do not immediately lose their rights. Suspects should attempt to learn all they can about their rights and responsibilities under the law, and doing so will allow them to begin to craft a defense or plea to match the circumstances of their individual cases.

Source: Fox News, “Operation to bust Chicago teen accused of terror plot took months, FBI says,” Sept. 16, 2012

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