Thursday, 25 August 2011 11:02
How the FBI Uses Informants to Surveil and Entrap Americans
The FBI has built a massive network of spies to prevent another domestic terrorist attack. But are they busting plots—or leading them? That’s the question addressed by a year-long investigation in Mother Jones magazine. It suggests FBI informants are not only busting terrorist plots, they are actually leading them so the FBI can later claim victories in the so-called "war on terror." In collaboration with the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley, reporter Trevor Aaronson examined more than 500 terrorism-related cases and found that nearly half the prosecutions involved the use of informants, many of them incentivized by cash rewards up to $100,000 per assignment. We speak with Aaronson and are also joined by James Wedick, a retired FBI agent who worked for the Bureau for 35 years, and Gadeir Abbas, staff attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.