The FBI runs a subsidiary that makes fake bombs for would-be domestic jihadis, and it’s one of the few success stories of the recession. Today we learned of Muhammed Hussain, who was named Antonio Martinez before he converted to Islam. He purchased one of the FBI’s fake truck bombs, tried to detonate it outside an Armed Forces recruiting station in Catonsville, Maryland, and was rewarded with the kind of non-explosion that makes FBI Customer Service smile when they slip on your complimentary plastic handcuffs.
Hussain joins Oregon preferred customer Mohamed Mohamud, who brought an FBI fake bomb to liven up Christmas tree lighting ceremonies in Portland last month.
Industry-watchers lauded the FBI’s innovative business model, which turns the outsourcing craze on its head by pretending the Customer Service department is located in Pakistan, when it’s really based in Quantico, Virginia.
Can fake-bomb sales continue to experience this kind of non-explosive growth without changing their business model? It looks like their customer base is alarmingly broad, and FBI management has been commendably vigorous about plumbing every murky corner of it for new opportunities. The marketing synergy with cell phones – a popular detonation accessory for the jihadi who isn’t quite ready to cash in their 72 Virgin Bonus Points – cannot be overlooked. Blow up a recruiting center? There’s an app for that. Luckily, it doesn’t work.