Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terrorism

Friday, February 01, 2013

Trevor Aaronson talks about his investigation into how the FBI has, under the guise of engaging in counterterrorism since 9/11, built a network of more than 15,000 informants whose primary purpose is to infiltrate Muslim communities to create and facilitate phony terrorist plots so that the Bureau can then claim it is winning the war on terror. The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terrorism reveals information about the FBI's paid informants and documents the methods the FBI uses to ensnare Muslims in terrorist plots.


Trevor Aaronson

Comments [14]

Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Make that Ralph Wiggum.

Feb. 01 2013 02:11 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Lynn Stewart, who I think looks like Ralph Wiggins, the attorney for the blind sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, the Egyptian cleric convicted of planning terror attacks of the 1993 WTC bombing, was convicted on charges of conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists in 2005, is now serving a 10 year sentence for perjury.

Justice has been served.

Feb. 01 2013 02:09 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I wouldn't want the FBI to wait until someone was on the point of committing a terrorist act either...maybe at some point in between.

Feb. 01 2013 12:42 PM
ellen from hackensack

'This American Life' ran a great segment about an informer who infiltrated a mosque to try to get something going -- and the members of the mosque were so suspicious of him that they turned him in to the FBI!!!

Feb. 01 2013 12:41 PM

The picture Aaronson paints is part of a larger one that includes changes in American law and in legal practice. Under Bush and Obama, mere speech acts can be construed and legally prosecuted as "material support for terrorism." Additionally, judges have shown little to no willingness to challenge government secrecy in these cases. ("We can't show you the evidence because it would risk US security.") Glenn Greenwald recently noted a case in which a federal judge effectively admitted that Muslims and Arabs were subject to a different, lesser standard of justice these days.

These attacks on justice — from FBI tactics to legal and judicial practices — _will_ be turned on regular citizens. This is one of the well-established patterns of American and world history.

Feb. 01 2013 12:31 PM
emmanuel from hastings

In 1943 my great grandmother was reported by a neighbor to Vichy authorities that she was Jewish. She was never heard from again. How is this different?

Feb. 01 2013 12:29 PM

Rep. Peter King defends the terrorism of the IRA to this day. He refuses to acknowledge that the IRA ever committed an act of terrorism. He is an unabashed racist and an advocate of violence. Using the FBI's standards, King should now be in prison.

Feb. 01 2013 12:22 PM

The thing to note is that the FBI is targeting these people _because_ they are Muslims. That's the only distinguishing feature. There are others who are isolated, ignorant, disgruntled, bigoted, and convicted of other crimes. Many are Christian, some are Jewish, others are something else altogether. But the FBI targets exclusively Muslims. What would we say if the FBI entrapped a right-wing evangelical Christian or an extremist, right-wing Jew into supporting an attack on Palestinians. Or lured an extremist Catholic into supporting an attack on Protestants in Northern Ireland. Rep. Peter King would fall for that one. Would we consider it permissible government behavior?

Feb. 01 2013 12:17 PM
antonio from baySIde

Does the guest know about the FBI operative that was LIVING with 2 operatives of the 911 plot in San Diego, CA?

Feb. 01 2013 12:14 PM
maz from Texas

Is it true that the first World Trade Center bombing was one of these FBI plots gone wrong? I've heard about this, but not sure what the truth is.

Feb. 01 2013 12:13 PM
john from office

Soooooo, we are too feel sorry for these people??

Feb. 01 2013 12:12 PM
foodaggro from Brooklyn


Feb. 01 2013 12:10 PM
Jonah from Ny

If homeland security cared about human life they would arrest the corperations that kill millions of us and are destroying the environment: fast food, factory farms, injection dumping, fracking, oil, plastic, pharmaceuticals, cars, shipping, overfishing, airpollution, banks that destroy the economy, bottled water, oil spills, arsenic in food. Insteas homeland security threatens innocent people, cops threaten and terrify the people with drones and the threat of death penalty for resisting arrest for victimless crimes. Suspicios interrogations at airports, manditory dose of radiation by the tsa, cell phone radiation, stop and frisk, riot riot police surrounding protests and protecting white collar criminals against concerned citizens using freedom of assembly which obama has tried to change to mean going shopping, and to the movies.

Feb. 01 2013 11:40 AM
Oldersachem01 from Hudson County, NJ

The FBI, INS and a few other enforcement entities are all targeting Muslims and Muslim country ex-pat nationals (regardless of faith) for intense scrutiny, infiltration and a host of procedural obstructions to discourage their active participation in the body politic of the USA. Same as J. Edgar's earlier fixation with Italians and African Americans. And the red-lining and hidden file methodologies are obvious to these communities regardless of general USA apathy. These guardians have become the domestic teeth of American foreign policy to "protect and defend" a disappearing Caucasian middle class America. And the closer we get to Hispanic plurality, the more extreme will be the legal and illegal measures taken by government stalwarts in the name of security to suppress liberty and retard change. Proper mitigation? I propose that we require all such agency employees to wear identifying uniforms in public once a week to remind them of their humanity: perhaps some of Hoover's old dresses would serve? Eisenhower said it best: want perfect security? Get incarcerated in a maximum security prison. Freedom and security are a always contradictory goals.

Feb. 01 2013 11:36 AM

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