The Terror Factory: Book summary and reviews of The Terror Factory by Trevor Aaronson

The Terror Factory

Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terrorism

By Trevor Aaronson

The Terror Factory
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2013,
    256 pages.

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Book Summary

A groundbreaking work of investigative journalism, The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terror shows how the FBI has, under the guise of engaging in counterterrorism since 9/11, built a network of more than fifteen thousand informants whose primary purpose is to infiltrate Muslim communities to create and facilitate phony terrorist plots so that the bureau can then claim victory in the War on Terror.

An outgrowth of Trevor Aaronson's work as an investigative reporting fellow at the University of California, Berkeley - which culminated in an award-winning cover story in Mother Jones magazine - The Terror Factory reveals shocking information about the criminals, con men, and liars the FBI uses as paid informants, as well as documenting the extreme methods the FBI uses to ensnare Muslims in terrorist plots - which are in reality conceived and financed by the FBI.

The book offers unprecedented detail into how the FBI has transformed from a reactive law enforcement agency to a proactive counterterrorism organization - including the story of an accused murderer who became one of the FBI's most prolific terrorism informants - and how so-called terrorism consultants and experts have made fortunes by exaggerating the threat of Islamic terrorism in the United States.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Compelling, shocking, and gritty with intrigue." - Publishers Weekly

"A real eye-opener that questions how well the country's security is being protected." - Kirkus

"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 Factory is 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

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Trevor Aaronson is associate director and co-founder of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit journalism organization that produces reporting about Florida and Latin America in English and Spanish. Previously, he was an investigative reporter and editor for The Memphis Commercial Appeal, and a staff writer for Village Voice Media's newspapers in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. He was also an Investigative Reporting Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, where he developed a yearlong project about the FBI's use of informants in U.S. Muslim communities.

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