FBI Tries To Break Terror Plots In Earliest Stages


Arrests in a plan to blow up and flood New York City were typical of the FBI’s post-Sept. 11 strategy in counterterrorism cases: detect and disrupt plots in early stages rather than wait to collect additional evidence more likely to produce a conviction, reports USA Today. “The FBI is doing what they said they’d do,” says Brian Levin of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State University in San Bernardino. “Because someone is maybe laughable, or doesn’t look like your idea of a polished terrorist doesn’t mean they’re not capable of maximum destruction. So you try never to take that chance.”

The New York City case, after arrests of potential terrorists in Miami, have prompted some to suggest that the FBI is overstating the danger posed by wannabe jihadists. “This is starting to look like the president’s version of rounding up the usual suspects,” says Joseph Cirincione of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington. “There is a pattern of dramatic announcements, followed by revelations that these plots weren’t as serious as we all initially thought.” Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty asserts that federal authorities have won 253 convictions in 435 terrorism cases since 2001. Cases are brought, he said, “at the moment our investigation reveals both a risk to our national security and a violation of our nation’s laws.”

Link: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-07-09-terror-plots_x.htm

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