As a retired lawyer, Steve Downs volunteered to represent a local Muslim who was entrapped in an FBI sting. From that, he learned of other similar cases, and he co-founded Project Salam. Their new report, Inventing Terrorists: The Lawfare of Preemptive Prosecution, analyzes about 400 domestic terrorism prosecutions since 2001 and finds that 72% of the cases involved preemptive investigations that included paid informants and provocateurs who often supplied the idea and the means for plots that were then exposed to fawning media outlets. Another 22% of the cases involved minor, non-terrorist crimes that were manipulated and amplified by the FBI. The numbers show a clear pattern of abuse, mostly of Muslim suspects.
*Stephen Downs spent most of his career as an attorney for New York State’s judicial oversight commission. You can read the report and browse the database here
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