Trevor Aaronson: How this FBI strategy is actually creating US-based terrorists
Trevor Aaronson - Journalist
An investigative journalist who reports on the FBI’s misuse of informants in counterterrorism operations, Trevor Aaronson asks the question: Is the United States catching terrorists or creating them? Full bio
for more terrorism plots
think about the FBI.
gunning down bad guys like John Dillinger,
crooked elected officials.
has consumed the FBI.
3.3 billion dollars
combined for organized crime,
the case files
the United States,
the conclusion that the FBI
than it is at catching terrorists.
terrorist attacks in the United States.
bombings in 2013,
a man named Faisal Shahzad
to Times Square.
of terrorism plots.
more than 175 people
led by an informant,
economically desperate people
before they struck.
of more than 15,000 informants nationwide,
might be dangerous.
100,000 dollars or more
they bring to the FBI.
mostly criminals and con men
in the United States,
Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif
gasoline and attempting suicide.
reality and fantasy.
recruiting station outside Seattle
of course, by the FBI.
for his work on the case.
who had fled Pakistan on murder charges
synagogues in the Bronx.
with a history of mental problems.
him 250,000 dollars
published my new story
involving Sami Osmakac,
near Tampa, Florida.
international terrorist groups.
handed him money,
posing as a terrorist,
to bomb an Irish bar.
with his face blurred --
with his recording equipment on.
they were doing was farcical.
to hear about these conversations.
them under a protective order
from doing something like this.
a pot to piss in."
a pipe dream scenario.
everything he needed.
they gave him an AK-47,
him money for a taxi cab
they wanted him to go.
he wanted a Hollywood ending.
to deliver what he thought
sentenced to 40 years in prison.
175 so-called terrorists,
the War on Terror.
carefully choreographed production
pretty strong accusations,
Investigative Reporting Program
of all terrorism prosecutions
the first decade after 9/11.
to find out whether
to international terrorist groups,
played the role of an agent provocateur
to our database.
and we'd go back and check
of our findings.
in a magazine article
like CBS and NPR,
findings are wrong."
come forward and said,
with those findings."
by groups like Human Rights Watch
these types of sting operations.
not catching terrorists
mentally ill people
in these types of sting operations.
investigative journalism website,
and why there.
the most logical place for this
really leveraging the fact that
transcripts of these
that a federal judge had sealed
that their release
the U.S. government's
was set up to protect journalists
very sensitive matters like this.
which was just published today,
was set up in this FBI sting
highlight the things that they said,
to put money in Sami Osmakac's hands,
from the undercover agent.
was that he paid for these weapons,
how the FBI orchestrated
mentally ill and broke
pay for weapons
in a conspiracy for.
ISIS suspects in Brooklyn,
be headed to Syria,
or examples of more of the same?
what's come out in the court file,
example of the same.
have moved from flavor to flavor.
is the current flavor.
is that the three men that were charged
of the FBI informant,
them with the travel documents
in that particular case,
had found out
and had hid his passport.
showed up at the airport,
be interested in joining the Islamic State
States government should be looking at
in violence here.
the evidence that's so far come out,
it possible for these guys
to that in the first place.
TA: Thank you.
About the speaker:Trevor Aaronson - Journalist
An investigative journalist who reports on the FBI’s misuse of informants in counterterrorism operations, Trevor Aaronson asks the question: Is the United States catching terrorists or creating them?
Why you should listen
Trevor Aaronson is the executive director of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and the author of The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism. In 2014 he reported and produced "Informants," a one-hour documentary for Al Jazeera Media Network about the FBI’s counterterrorism program. In 2015 he published "To Catch the Devil" with Foreign Policy and "The Sting: How the FBI Created a Terrorist" with The Intercept, both about his work on the FBI's counterterrorism methods.
Trevor Aaronson | Speaker | TED.com