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The blurry line between entrapment and law enforcement

It goes without saying that law enforcement, both local Minneapolis and St. Paul police forces and the FBI, are tasked with keeping us safe. Since 9/11, the FBI has been actively involved in searching for and stopping homegrown terrorists, so much so that anti-terrorism initiatives now compose the majority of the FBI’s budget. Although it is important that the federal government takes its responsibilities so seriously, the tactics the FBI uses could be seen as entrapment.

Some critics of FBI tactics point to the fact that the individuals arrested and charged with these serious federal crimes are the types of people who are utterly unable to do anything on their own. Yes, they may have been in contact with paid FBI informants and expressed a desire to cause harm to individuals in the United States, but all of the supplies and nearly all of the plans have been provided by the informants or the FBI itself. In this case, who is really responsible for an attempted terroristic act?

Stepping in to thwart the plot before there is any chance of it succeeding. In many cases, the government provides the would-be terrorists with disabled weapons or fake bombs, yet these individuals are arrested and charged with the crimes they may have committed had all of the weapons been real.

Fighting for American safety is important, certainly, but it is also important that individuals who are incapable of causing harm not be treated as if they are the next terrorist threat.

Source: Business Insider, “The FBI Goes to Disturbing Lengths to Set Up Potential Terrorists,” Paul Szoldra, March 11, 2013

If you would like more information about this story, please see the source above, but if you would like to learn more about the serious nature of federal crimes in Minneapolis and St. Paul, please visit our website.

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