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The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terrorism Hardcover – January 15, 2013

3.9 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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 Reviews

"This is investigative reporting at its best. For the first time, a documented investigation into the domestic terrorism program is available to the general public. And the story this dogged reporter tells has been garnering growing attention. Is it possible that we have in fact created the very threat we fear? Are we in danger of destroying the fabric of our freedom in our panic to preserve it? Read Aaronson's ground breaking report and make up your own mind."-Lowell Bergman, Pulitzer Prize-winning Professor of Investigative Reporting


"Aaronson explains just how misguided and often deceptive FBI terrorism sting operations have become. In case after case, he demonstrates how the money being spent is more about producing theater than about federal agents arresting suspected terrorists."-James J. Wedick, former FBI Supervisory Agent

"A disturbing window into America's war on terror. In story after story, Aaronson reveals in detail how the FBI and its informants are creating crime rather than solving it. This is an important piece of journalism."--Alexandra Natapoff, author, Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice

“The Terror Factoryis a damning exposé of how the government’s front line against terrorism has become a network of snitches at the end of their ropes, and FBI agents desperate to thwart a terrorist plot even if it means creating one.”–Will Potter, author, Green is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege


About the Author

Trevor Aaronson is an accomplished investigative journalist. He has written about the FBI for Mother Jones magazine and produced a documentary about informants for Al Jazeera Media Network. A two-time finalist for the Livingston Awards, Aaronson has won the Molly National Journalism Prize, the international Data Journalism Award and the John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Award.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Ig Publishing; 1st edition (January 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935439618
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935439615
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Scott on January 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Prosecutions of *actual* terrorists in America since 9/11/01 can be counted on one hand (Moussoui, Zazi, Shazad, Abdulmuttalab). All of the rest are bogus, with at least 50 being straight-up entrapment jobs by the FBI and their handsomely paid (by you) informants.

The next time some real terrorists plot to blow something up in America, the FBI will no doubt miss it, being too busy tricking the slowest kid down at the Islamic bookstore into praising Osama for the promise of $20,000.

The courts have let them get away with it, so thank goodness there are a few decent reporters left willing to challenge the feds on their third-world ways.

Trevor Aaronson ably describes the FBI agent-informant entrapment business, tells the story of wholly innocent and mostly-innocent people who could-would never have become terrorists but for the provocateur sent to frame them up, the ruthless blackmail used by the feds to terrorize average Joe Muslims to become informants/provocateurs, the perverse incentives driving them to continue the same policy and the mass media credulity that helps make it all possible.
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Format: Hardcover
A careful study of the FBI's own data on terrorism in the United States, reported in Trevor Aaronson's book The Terror Factory, finds one organization leading all others in creating terrorist plots in the United States: the FBI.

Imagine an incompetent bureaucrat. Now imagine a corrupt one. Now imagine both combined. You're starting to get at the image I take away of some of the FBI agents' actions recounted in this book.

Now imagine someone both dumb enough to be manipulated by one of those bureaucrats and hopelessly criminal, often sociopathic, and generally at the mercy of the criminal or immigration courts. Now you're down to the level of the FBI informant, of which we the Sacred-Taxpayers-Who-Shall-Defund-Our-Own-Retirement employ some 15,000 now, dramatically more than ever before. And we pay them very well.

Then try to picture someone so naive, incompetent, desperate, out-of-place, or deranged as to be manipulable by an FBI informant. Now you're at the level of the evil terrorist masterminds out to blow up our skyscrapers.

Well, not really. They're actually almost entirely bumbling morons who couldn't tie their own shoes or buy the laces without FBI instigation and support. The FBI plants the ideas, makes the plans, provides the fake weapons and money, creates the attempted act of terrorism, makes an arrest, and announces the salvation of the nation.

Over and over again. The procedure has become so regular that intended marks have spotted the sting being worked on them simply by googling the name or phone number of the bozo pretending to recruit them into the terrorist brotherhood, and discovering that he's a serial informant.

Between 911 and August, 2011, the U.S.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is a well researched expose of what has gone wrong with the fbi. They are now manufacturing crime so they can arrest "terrorists". This should be a must read by everyone concerned about this country.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The basic premise of Aaronson's book is that the FBI needs to create business to stay in business, and they seem to have become very successful in doing so. Had I read this within 5 years of 9/11/2001, I would have said "BS!" However, in 2013, I'd have to agree with the the basic premise. If these allegations are true, further investigation is certainly needed. Taxpayers are owed that much.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While it should not be surprising to read that an arm of the justice system works in such an unethical manner, I must admit that I am still a bit shocked to read of the amount of money squandered on drumming up scenarios to justify a bloated budget. With all of the financial crimes taking place in our society, it seems like the FBI’s anti-terrorism efforts are more akin to key-jangling and fear-mongering than to protecting citizens.
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For anyone interested in how our government is fighting the war on terror this is essential reading. Currently, the FBI has a wide spread practice of entrapping people into terrorist schemes. Essentially, the FBI is now in the business of making terrorists. Aaronson details a number of cases in which purported terrorists were approached by informants who suggested a plan, encouraged participation, and provided material support for it. Some of these cases were in the national media, but you get a much fuller picture of the FBI role in those case than what was presented by most media outlets at the time.

I was left with the impression that the resources and energy of the FBI are being wasted on setting up people who had no inclination towards terrorism prior to FBI involvement, and who had no ability to carry out an act of terrorism, i.e. funding or connections with international terrorist organizations.

I read this book shortly after the Boston Marathon bombing. In light of reports that the FBI received information from Russian authorities about Tamerlan Tsarnaev one can only wonder if resources were not wasted on entrapment schemes, perhaps there would have been more follow up on this real threat and the tragedy averted.
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