The importance of ensuring informant reliability is currently being demonstrated in federal court as four men are accused of plotting to attack US government officials.
As reported by 11 Alive, the court heard recordings of the men discussing their targets. However, defense lawyers are arguing that the recording have been taken out of context and that they were recorded by an unreliable confidential informant with “a series of legal troubles, including two recent charges of child pornography and child molestation”.
In such cases, corroboration of evidence is crucial – given the seriousness of the charges and the allegations against the informant, one has to hope that the prosecution has some good corroborative evidence up their sleeves.
The jury-selection started this week for the trial of four men accused of plotting to blow up a New York synagogue and shoot down planes taking off from a nearby Air Force base. However, as reported by The Christian Science Monitor, significant attention will be given to a fifth man who infiltrated the terrorist group whilst acting as a confidential informant for the FBI. It is likely that defense attorneys for the four accused men will claim that they were subjected to entrapment tactics.
This illustrates the difficulty of using confidential informants to support criminal investigations. Law enforcement agencies have to be very careful to make sure that informants abide by codes of conduct and don’t encourage potential villains to commit crimes that they wouldn’t otherwise have committed. Policy and procedure are crucial, as well as regular communication with the informant and subsequent documentation of that communication. There is no room for error when the stakes are so high. abmpegasus helps law enforcement agencies to manage processes surrounding confidential informants.
There has been a a great deal of expenditure on CT over the last several years and quite rightly so against the international threats of Terrorism. Al-Qaeda as an operational organisation does not necessarily exist anymore, but its replaced global network of smaller spin off organisations continues to pose a real and dangerous threat. But in reality, the continued and deeper effect of Serious and Organised Crime (SOC) is somewhat overlooked. SOC penetrates every element of every day life from local drug dealing on the streets and identity fraud to credit fraud and people trafficking, the list goes on. It is also often used as a front in order to raise funding for Terrorist organisations. Is it not time that we started to re-address the balance and become more focussed on tackling the grass roots of SOC as this may help the wider picture?