The story is actually titled, In Alaska, becoming the militants next door. In describing the convicted person’s transition from disliking Muslims for the 9/11 attack to a level of understanding of the reasons, the article states:
Rockwood said he also felt he was beginning to understand what had driven the Sept. 11 hijackers. “These people felt that they had been under attack,” he said. “They kind of saw it as a self-defense response. It was like you’d be impressed if an American soldier jumps on a grenade to save his buddies – it takes a lot of courage to give up your life like that.”
There is much more to the story than this beginning. However, the police did enticed Rockwood into committing acts that they could use to convict him. The police effort may have been initiated by reports to the police that Rockwood was beginning to understand the hijackers motivations. He might never have gone anywhere near as far as he did, and it is arguable about how far he went, had not the police officer befriended him, encouraged him, got him riled up, and enticed him. The police even paid Rockwood money that he desperately needed to move his pregnant wife and himself from from Alaska to her native England for multiple medical reasons.
Given the new powers that Congress gave to, or thrust upon, President Obama, Rockwood could have been indefinitely detained without trial rather than getting the 8 years in federal prison that he got on a plea deal he was coerced into signing.