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FBI mishandled terror investigation: DOJ report

[JURIST] The New York Times reported Sunday that FBI [official website; JURIST news archive] officials mishandled a 2002 Florida terror investigation, falsified documents to cover mistakes and retaliated against an agent who reported the problems. The FBI had opened a terror investigation into whether terrorist associations overseas were financed by laundered money that was possibly connected to a drug outfit in Florida. A draft report by the Justice Department’s inspector general’s office [official website] obtained by the Times indicated that correction fluid altered dates on three FBI forms to conceal an apparent violation of federal wiretap law, requiring that an informant taping a meeting must keep the recorder in his possession at all times. The FBI used the correction fluid to backdate forms that the informant signed as part of a bugging operation, indicating that he had been present for all undercover taping. The report also stated that FBI supervisors were aware of the violations and did not take any steps to correct them. Former FBI agent Mike German [Global Security profiler] backed out of the investigation because he believed the FBI so seriously mishandled it that they spoiled a prime opportunity to expose a terrorist-financing plot. German claimed his boss retaliated against him [ACLU statement] by ceasing to give him further prestigious assignments. Reuters has more.

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