A new human rights report offers a blistering assessment of the Justice Department's role in the fight against terrorism, taking aim at tactics used to identify and prosecute suspects.
In a lengthy examination of U.S. terrorism prosecutions, Human Rights Watch, working with Columbia Law School's Human Rights Institute, said the FBI and the Justice Department have created a climate of fear in some Muslim communities through the use of surveillance and informants.
The group accused the government of using sting operations, which some critics described as entrapment, to target people with mental or intellectual disabilities and said that such tactics have driven people away from mosques.
"The report clearly shows, in many respects, the American public is being sold a false bill of goods," said Andrea Prasow, deputy Washington director at Human Rights Watch. "To be sure, the threat of terrorism is real," she said. "But in many of the cases we documented, there was no threat until the FBI showed up and helped turn people into terrorists."