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When Investigation Becomes Incitement

Last June, when the story of the Miami 7 terror cell first broke, questions ensued about the role of FBI informants in terrorism related investigations. According to some accounts, the informant in that case may have instigated some of the group's members and gone far beyond simply gathering intelligence on their activities.

Seems we may once again find ourselves wondering where the line between investigating and instigating lies.
He railed against the United States, helped scout out military installations for attack, offered to introduce his comrades to an arms dealer and gave them a list of weapons he could procure, including machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

These were not the actions of a terrorist but of a paid FBI informant who helped bring down an alleged plot by six Muslim men to massacre U.S. soldiers at New Jersey’s Fort Dix.

And those actions have raised questions of whether the government crossed the line and pushed the six men down a path they would not have otherwise followed.

Terrorism investigations are perhaps the most strenuous of all for the FBI or any other law enforcement department. Unlike murder, robberies, and kidnapping which typically are post event, the demand that terrorists be stopped before they are able to commit their crimes is burdensome. A delicate balance must be maintained. Never let the line go so slack that they are allowed to carry out their heinous actions but at the same time you must strive to not let it become a noose that ensnares both criminal and crime enforcer.

(Filed at State of the Day)

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