Deny Terrorists What They Want — Prosecute Them as Criminals

By Michael German

Michael German is a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice's Liberty and National Security Program. His work focuses on law enforcement and intelligence oversight and reform. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Mr. German served as the policy counsel for national security and privacy for the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office. A sixteen-year veteran of federal law enforcement, Mr. German served as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he specialized in domestic terrorism and covert operations. As an undercover agent, German twice infiltrated extremist groups using constitutionally sound law enforcement techniques.

After the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, which killed 58 people, and the murder of an anti-fascist protester in Charlottesville this August, many people are asking what exactly qualifies as terrorism, and where the real difference lies between domestic and international acts of terror.

The Cipher Brief’s Fritz Lodge spoke with Michael German, a former FBI who successfully infiltrated two extremist domestic terror organizations as an undercover agent, about how the current approach to domestic terrorism is missing serious organized violence.

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