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Only 1 percent of “terrorists” caught by the FBI are real

In the dozen years since the 9/11 attacks, we've watched as a classified new legal regime for government surveillance has been hashed out, local police forces have become heavily armed military-type units and a whole new layer of bureaucracy has hatched to provide us with an abundance of “homeland security.”

Proponents of this build-up argue that it's made us safer. They point to hundreds of foiled plots to make their case. But Trevor Aaronson, author of The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terrorismdug into these supposedly dastardly plots and found that they are much less than meets the eye.

Aaronson recently appeared on the AlterNet Radio Hour. Below is a lightly edited transcript of the discussion.

Joshua Holland: Trevor, the raw statistical data say that Americans have a significantly better chance of being struck dead by lightning than of being killed in a terrorist attack here at home. It’s obviously different for people in some other countries.

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