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The Terror Factory: Tenth Anniversary Edition

Trevor Aaronson

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“Compelling, shocking, and gritty with intrigue.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A real eye-opener that questions how well the country’s security is being protected.”—Kirkus (starred review)

"In an analysis of five hundred terrorism-related cases brought since September 11th, the journalist Trevor Aaronson found that nearly half of them involved a confidential informant. In some cases, the threat posed by the target was remote."—Evan Osnos, The New Yorker

"The Terror Factory is a well-researched and fast-paced exposé of the dubious tactics the FBI has used in targeting Muslim Americans with sting operations since 2001."—Michael German, Reason

A groundbreaking work of investigative journalism into the FBI's questionable counterterroism tactics, The Terror Factory exposes how the Bureau built a network of more than 15,000 informants after 9/11 whose primary purpose was to infiltrate Muslim communities to create and facilitate phony terrorist plots so that the Bureau could then claim it was winning the war on terror. 

This tenth anniversary edition of The Terror Factory further updates the activities of the FBI over the past decade, focusing on the Justice Department's prosecution of hundreds of defendants on international terrorism charges that emerged from FBI stings. In many of these stings, informants or undercover agents provided all the money and weapons for the terrorist plot, and sometimes even the ideas — raising significant questions about whether any of these people would have committed crimes were it not for the FBI’s encouragement. This new edition of the book also examines how the FBI is assigning informants to infiltrate right-wing groups, in order to expand the Bureau's counterrorism program beyond Muslim Americans.

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Terror Factory, Trevor Aaronson, FBI, Terrorism