New Investigative Report on FBI's Use of Terror Informants

Mother Jones has partnered with the University of California-Berkeley's Investigative Reporting Program and compiled a fascinating report on the FBI's use of informants in the war on terror. The crucial question:

The FBI has built a massive network of spies to prevent another domestic attack. But are they busting terrorist plots—or leading them?

The number of informants has dramatically increased since 9/11:

The bureau now maintains a roster of 15,000 spies, some paid as much as $100,000 per case, many of them tasked with infiltrating Muslim communities in the United States.

They aren't just ratting out their partners in crime, they are setting them up.

The bureau's answer has been a strategy known variously as "preemption," "prevention," and "disruption"—identifying and neutralizing potential lone wolves before they move toward action. To that end, FBI agents and informants target not just active jihadists, but tens of thousands of law-abiding people, seeking to identify those disgruntled few who might participate in a plot given the means and the opportunity. And then, in case after case, the government provides the plot, the means, and the opportunity.

Really a good series and well worth reading.

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