- An informant can earn 100,000 dollars or more for every terrorism case they bring to the FBI. This provides an incentive for vulnerable or amoral individuals to spy on the Muslim community. This does not help combat domestic terrorism.
- “In the decade since 9/11, the FBI has built the largest network of spies ever to exist in the United States – with ten times as many informants on the streets today as there were during the famous Cointelpro operations under FBI director J. Edgar Hoover – with the majority of these spies focused on ferreting out terrorism in Muslim communities.” (The Terror Factory, 16) The yearly budget for domestic counterterrorism is $3.3 billion. According to Trevor Aaronson’s 2015 TED Talk, there were about six actual terrorist attacks in the United States. However, in roughly the same time frame, there were over 500 defendants that the U.S. government considered terrorists: “Of the 508 defendants, 243 had been targeted through an FBI informant, 158 had been caught in an FBI terrorism sting, and 49 had encountered an agent provocateur” (The Terror Factory, 15).
Reading The Terror Factory for the MLFA Book Club, I’m struck by how this is not a real problem. The media coverage, especially right after 9/11, made it seem like Al-Qaeda was recruiting from every dark corner. Aaronson’s research reveals that almost all of the so-called terrorists were recruited by the FBI themselves.
Join the MLFA Book Club to continue these crucial discussions with the author himself.
Stand with MLFA against the wasteful spending of FBI counterterrorism efforts. Stand with MLFA for changes in law and policy that reflect the promise of liberty and justice for all.By Jeannine Sherman – November 18, 2022
US v Osmakac Motion Exhibit 2 – DocumentCloud. Sealed FBI transcripts published online by The Intercept.