Despite crime being on a steady decline for the past decade and the threat of international terrorism being wildly overstated, local police departments are stockpiling military grade weaponry. The militarization of police forces has become such a prominent phenomenon that the ACLU now dedicates a portion of its resources to studying the trend. Community policing – particularly in poor areas where people of color live – has been replaced with military style raids by heavily armed SWAT Teams.
|By: DSWright Tuesday August 5, 2014 12:10 pm|
|By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday July 29, 2014 3:30 pm|
The United States Justice Department has moved to dismiss a lawsuit in which American Muslims allege that that twenty-five law enforcement officials, particularly FBI agents, had them placed on the No Fly List after they refused to become government informants in their community.
|By: Peter Van Buren Wednesday July 23, 2014 2:18 pm|
The NSA sits at the nexus of violations of both the Fourth and Fifth Amendments with a legal dodge called Parallel Construction.
Parallel Construction is a technique used by law enforcement to hide the fact that evidence in a criminal case originated with the NSA. In its simplest form, the NSA collects information showing say a Mr. Anderson committed a crime. This happens most commonly in drug cases.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday July 21, 2014 6:30 pm|
Human Rights Watch and the Columbia Law School have released a comprehensive report challenging the government’s use of sting operations and other tactics in terrorism prosecutions. It particularly highlighted twenty-seven cases from when the cases were initiated to sentencing and post-conviction, including confinement conditions.
|By: Shannon Sonenstein Sonrouille Monday July 21, 2014 4:09 pm|
In 2009, with television cameras rolling, the FBI triumphantly busted a domestic terrorist ring from Newburgh, NY. The men, known as the Newburgh Four, are each serving a 25-year sentence for plotting to blow up two synagogues and shoot down military supply planes. FDL reported on the story and case; read Kevin’s take on it for more background information.
What happened in Newburgh continues to attract attention although perhaps not in the way the FBI intended. Instead, it serves as a cautionary tale in post-9/11 America. An uneasy story about what happened when the FBI went into an impoverished community and offered a large sum of money to people in exchange for their agreement to participate in a fake bombing plot. This case inevitably raises questions about our rights as Americans, what constitutes terrorism, and the definition of entrapment.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Friday July 11, 2014 10:09 am|
Two animal rights activists who allegedly released thousands of animals from a mink farm about sixty-five miles southwest of Chicago have been indicted on federal terrorism charges.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday July 9, 2014 4:20 pm|
Both the Office of Director of National Intelligence and the United States Justice Department have responded to a major feature story based off document from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. The two agencies deny that any surveillance against the five prominent American Muslims named as NSA and FBI targets was a result of US intelligence targeting them for “exercising constitutional rights.”
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday July 9, 2014 8:54 am|
Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept have published a much-anticipated story revealing five prominent Muslim-Americans the National Security Agency and FBI spied upon. The surveillance, which primarily appears to have involved monitoring their emails, was conducted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
|By: Peter Van Buren Tuesday July 8, 2014 8:54 am|
The FBI arrested a Colorado teenager on suspicion of attempting to support al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The young woman was busted at the Denver International Airport as she attempted to board a plane for Frankfurt with an onward ticket to Turkey. Germany and Turkey are members of NATO, and allies of the United States. It is not a crime to fly there.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Friday July 4, 2014 10:45 am|
Agents with the FBI, US Marshal’s Service and Joint Terrorist Task Force (JTTF) have reportedly been making visits to over a dozen political activists in Chicago, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area to ask about a case that is more than thirty years old.
The case involves Donna Borup, who the FBI believes was part of a “violent anti-apartheid demonstration at JFK International Airport in Queens, New York, on September 26, 1981.”