By Mikael Thalen
Story Leak: May 2nd, 2014
A Washington state man charged with plotting to blow up several buildings was found dead in federal custody Thursday, only days after being arrested during an elaborate FBI sting.
According to federal agents, 53-year-old Larry Gillette, who was serving a sentence for identity theft, told several inmates that he planned to blow up a Walmart and two gas stations as a diversion for three bank robberies once he left prison. An anonymous federal law enforcement source speaking to reporters from Kiro Radio also stated that Gillette had plans to blow up Seattle’s iconic Space Needle, although the FBI has yet to comment on the claims.
Upon his release, Gillette unknowingly met with an undercover officer and received four inoperable pistols as well as a defective car bomb. Reports state that Gillette met with the officer a second time on April 28 and attempted to detonate the bomb before being arrested by the FBI.
“This certainly had the potential to be very devastating and dangerous and he was certainly the driving force,” Asst. U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Backhus told Komo 4 News last Thursday. “The FBI was in charge of the situation the entire time. There was no threat to the public that we believe of because they were in charge of the situation but certainly, potentially, there was a great chance for loss of life.”
Less than a week later, Gillette would be found dead in his cell at the Seatac Federal Detention Center. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons announced the death the following day, saying hospital workers were unsuccessful in their attempts to revive Gillette from a suspected suicide.
While no evidence currently points to foul play, the FBI’s history of executing people in their custody, most recently seen with Ibragim Todashev, who was shot 7 times execution style in his home, begs the question. Aside from Gillette’s death, the circumstances surrounding his initial arrest are nearly identical to every other FBI terror sting in one specific way.
In almost every plot foiled by the FBI, the agency itself was found to have supplied all the firearms and explosives after secretly coercing subjects into carrying out attacks. While those who attempt to engage in violent activities should be held accountable, the federal government has continually used their own plots to push civil-liberty eroding policies in the name of protection.
A 2012 report from the New York Times detailed some of the agency’s more well-know plots since 9/11, noting that such events were unlikely to occur without the FBI’s involvement.
“The United States has been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years — or so it has seemed,” the article states. “…all these dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training.”
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