Kumar first focuses on two ineffectual men, each of whom he classifies as an “accidental terrorist.” He demonstrates in rich detail the ways in which both men were victims of legal entrapment, more guilty of stupidity than actual terrorism, manipulated into crime by others who were mostly concerned with saving themselves in the eyes of an already nervous US government.
The first “accidental terrorist” is Hemant Lakhani, a nearly-70-year-old failed businessman with delusions of grandeur, who was convicted of trying to sell a missile to a would-be terrorist. The missile was a dud, shipped to a New Jersey hotel room by the FBI, and brokered by a “terrorist” who proved to be FBI informant Habib Rehman. Rehman – also a failed businessman – had considerable debts, a self-confessed track record as a liar, and a history of tax evasion. His handsome salary was funded by US taxpayers.