On Tuesday, the FBI arrested Paul Rosenfeld, a New York man who confessed to plotting a suicide bombing on Election Day in Washington, D.C.’s National Mall in order to draw attention to “sortition,” which is an obscure, ancient-Greek political theory that advocated for the selection of political candidates by lottery.
Those unfamiliar with this news story can glean the official details from the U.S. Department of Justice’s press release or this news article from Mid Hudson News. The federal complaint can be viewed here.
However, there are several inconsistencies in the story that it seems nobody is addressing. So here are five quick questions to which we would appreciate answers.
1. Why did Rosenfeld quickly confess to possessing 8-pounds of black powder and to a suicide bombing plot?
On Tuesday, a traffic cop stopped Rosenfeld’s car. It seems Rosenfeld simply confessed to being in possession of black power (gun powder). He then said that he had ordered “large quantities of black power – an explosive substance – over the Internet, which he transported from a location in New Jersey to his home in Tappan. He said he used some eight pounds of the black powder to construct a large explosive device in his basement and that he installed certain components in the device to ensure that he would be killed in the blast.
“Rosenfeld told law enforcement that he had previously constructed a smaller device and had conducted test detonations. He also said he planned to detonate the larger device at the National Mall on November 6,” Mid Hudson News reports. Later that same day, the FBI searched Rosenfeld’s basement and found a 200-lb. bomb in a crate.
What a tidy and yet ridiculous story.
2. Why does a ‘lone wolf’ bomber need a burner phone?
Within 24 hours of the FBI’s arrest of Rosenfeld, the agency issued a press release stating that he acted alone in his plotting. Really? How could they determine this so quickly? Or is it because Rosenfeld said he was acting alone, and he had been so forthcoming with other information? Something here seems fishy, especially when one considers that the FBI also found Rosenfeld in possession of a burner phone (an untraceable phone). With whom was he communicating; or rather, who was communicating with him (as in giving him instructions)?
Reports claim that in August and September, he “sent letters and text messages to an individual in Pennsylvania” in which he revealed his bombing plot. That “individual” contacted authorities about the messages and the FBI’s terror unit opened an investigation.
NBC News, which got a lot of the details of the story wrong in its online report, is the only source that identifies this mystery “individual.” It’s story states:
Officials tell News 4 Rosenfeld had no criminal history but had told a reporter in Pennsylvania he planned to blow himself up on the National Mall around Election Day because he was angry about the country’s direction.
Rosenfeld told a reporter? Really? Is this a misprint? Why would he choose a reporter in Pennsylvania of all places? Why not New York or D.C.? Why did this reporter keep it a secret? And why would he reveal his plan this way? Was this a cry for help? Is he a patsy who was perhaps hoping to be foiled? Or is this just some smoke-and-mirrors magic show if caught?
3. How was Rosenfeld radicalized?
For someone who supposedly wants to draw attention to the political theory of sortition, there’s practically no information to be found online about Rosenfeld. There’s no Twitter account, no Facebook, no employer. There are no obvious political or religious affiliations — although being a New Yorker and with a name like Rosenfeld, one would assume he’s Jewish.
The Sortition Foundation’s website doesn’t list membership. It does, however, link to its Strategy document, and nowhere in this report does it list bombing as a strategy to raise public awareness.
In the dark forest of information called the worldwide web, we could only find three breadcrumbs of information on Rosenfeld.
#1 – A tweet indicating he may have been active in comments sections under an alias. No way to verify.
#WashingtonDC – #Terror Plot Foiled – Paul M. Rosenfeld of #Tappan, #NewYork, arrested over #USA mid-term #elections 200 pound ‘#bomb plot’ on National Mall – repeatedly posted about his political manifesto on Far-Left @DailyKos as “BettyLucy” https://t.co/gJZhSONR5F
— Toby Peters (@TobyPeters20) October 11, 2018
#2 – He’s apparently a member of his local yacht club, according to a membership roster.
#3 – It appears that in 2015 an online blog that advocates for sortition, called Equality by Lot, published a portion of an essay by Rosenfeld titled “The Extinction of Politics.“ A link to the Rosenfeld’s full 59-page screed is provided at the bottom of the excerpt. [NOTE: It can be recovered from trash via Google Docs.] His obscure post topic drew 135 algo-looking comments before news of his arrest broke. (135-Really?)
Rosefeld’s manifesto of sorts gives nods to Karl Marx and Russian-Jewish communist operative and Trotsky firebrand Emma Goldman, who was tied to but never convicted of plotting the assassination of U.S. President William McKinley. In his essay, Rosenfeld references violence nearly 30 times. He doesn’t mention the word sortition even once.
As a side note, Equality by Lot, according to its About page, appears to be run by Conall Boyle and Yoram Gat. Boyle may possibly be with the Bank of Ireland and/or (most likely) an U.K. author and university lecturer in economics and statistics. Gat might be the VP of Engineering at the firm Jerusalem Economy, LTD. in Israel. We cannot verify this information. We did not dig for it. It’s just the results of a simple Google query.
Gat wrote on his blog Saturday about Rosenfeld’s arrest: “Rosenfeld’s intents were entirely honorable and even heroic: he meant to sacrifice himself to promote a better world for his fellow-citizens.”
4. Um, how’s this not terrorism?
The definition of terrorism can vary from time to time and even from agency to agency within the same government. However, there is some universal agreement. Terrorism involves a violent attack to promote a political or ideological agenda. No exceptions are made for suicidal or “lone wolf” actors.
This is an Election Day plot to promote a political ideology using a destruction device at a federal monument of freedom and democracy in our nation’s capitol. The motive is politics, the desired outcome death. The means, a bomb. Am I missing something here? If he really just wanted kill himself and draw attention to an issue, I’m sure we could come up with dozens of suggestions that wouldn’t endanger the public and destroy a park.
So, even applying this most basic definition of terrorism, how is it that Rosefeld’s bomb plot is not being prosecuted as such? Sure, he confessed, but it’s not like he turned himself in to authorities. And how about the logistics of transporting and positioning the 200-pound bomb itself? Wouldn’t that take more than one person? And isn’t it literally overkill if your only aim is suicide? What a farce.
Though the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force reportedly devoted man hours to this case, Rosenfeld’s being charged on just two counts: (1) interstate transportation and receipt of an explosive and (2) unlawfully manufacturing a destructive device. Heck, half the redneck hunters and good ol’ boys in America could be charged with these crimes on any given weekend. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. No terrorism-related charges. Unfathomable.
We tried to find a video online that showed the detonation of a 200-pound black powder bomb. We found detonations for everything from 2 grams to 2,000 pounds and not much in between. Nonetheless, here are two videos, but keep in mind this only provides a visual range, and there are different types of black powder with varying explosive properties. We’re not privy to the details of Rosenfeld’s black powder device. He had to order it online and pick it up from New Jersey; which, to me, doesn’t sound like the basic stuff you could pick up at a local ammo shop.
This is just a 1-pound black-powder bomb detonated 3 feet underground:
This a 2,000-pound bomb using basic, old-school black powder:
This last video shows the visible concussion wave of a 2,000-pound black powder bomb.
5. What if he were Muslim?
This story got minimal coverage. No in-depth reporting. No veering from the framework of FBI press release. Local news stations provided some coverage, but there was hardly a peep on the national networks. Why?
This story of a New York man who allegedly planned to commit a massive suicide bombing on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on election day is getting less attention than I would expect.
Paul Rosenfeld is charged with explosives manufacturing and transportation offences.] https://t.co/S12jrfF629
— Saleem Khan | #JOVRNALISM founder (@saleemkhan) October 11, 2018
Would Fox News have played it up more if his name was Mohamed? Or would MSNBC give it some air time if the FBI had identified Rosenfeld as a “right-wing conspiracy theorist” or “nationalist” (aka “white supremacist”)? Probably.
Given that the Rosenfeld is probably of Jewish heritage and probably leans toward a more left-wing/Marxist ideology, we certainly shouldn’t expect the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) or Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to issue any statements on Rosenfeld’s bombing plot. These organizations’ self-appointed mission to identify only “right-wing” violent extremism in the U.S. How political of them.
On an interesting note, in 2017 the Congressional Research Service — a D.C. think tank with $110 million taxpayer-funded budget — issued to Congress a comprehensive report called “Domestic Terrorism: An Overview,” which touches on nearly every terrorist act in or toward the U.S. during the last 70 years, from eco terrorism to Al Qaeda. However, the organization omitted any all information and data concerning terrorist acts committed by Jewish persons or Jewish extremist groups.
These omissions are extremely glaring given that in the latter part of the 20th century, the FBI considered the Jewish Defense League (JDL) the No. 1 terrorist outfit in the country. And there is not one reference to the Jewish Israeli-American man who, from 2016 to 2017, made thousands of hoax bomb threats, including to a United States senator, as well as to airports, schools and Jewish centers across the U.S. His name has never been released by the Israeli courts. There’s also not one single reference to Jonah Goldberg, a Jewish hacker who posed as a jihadist online and had plotted to bomb a 2015 Kansas City 9/11 memorial event. (By the way, Goldberg was sentenced to just 10 years.)
Nope, certain folks have been working hard to keep such stories off of the public’s radar. If you don’t believe me, then test my assertion yourself. The next time you’re in line at your local Starbucks, simply ask the “normie” standing next to you if they’ve ever heard of the JDL, or if they know that the Jewish center bombing threats of 2016 were all a hoax, or if they know who Goldberg or Rosenfeld are. Then wait for their blank stare.
Winter Watch Takeaway
Of any “terror” event, we usually asks an important question: Is it possible this didn’t really happen at all? In other words, what if the event, or non-event in this case, was manufactured to traumatize the populace and grease the wheels of political agendas that would otherwise never achieve public support. Though I rarely indulge in this level of speculation, I nonetheless know that hoax and false-flag awareness is critical in these times of gross deceit.
Nothing to see here, move along? You decide.