Agents Use Ruling to Target U.S. Terror Backers

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A recent federal court decision has allowed the FBI to intensify longstanding investigations of alleged U.S. supporters of the Islamic Resistance Movement and Hezbollah terrorist groups, the Washington Post reports.

Most of the renewed efforts are aimed at alleged financial supporters of both groups — including Islamic centers, charities and criminal rings from Washington to Detroit to Los Angeles. The stepped-up investigations in at least two dozen U.S. cities were triggered by a November 2002 ruling from a three-judge appeals panel that authorized federal agents who pursue criminal prosecution of terrorism suspects to use decades worth of classified wiretaps and intelligence reports from foreign security agencies that previously had been off-limits. Before the ruling, such data were not usable in criminal cases because the standards for securing an intelligence warrant are lower.


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