RealNews

U.S. court approved 1,228 special terror warrants last year

The government disclosed Thursday it requested and won approval for a record 1,228 warrants last year for secret wiretaps and searches of suspected terrorists and spies, a reflection of aggressive efforts to prevent terror attacks in the United States. U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft disclosed the figures in a mandatory, two-paragraph report to the administrative office of the U.S. courts. Last year’s total was significantly higher than the 934 warrants approved in 2001 and the 1,003 approved in 2000. The FBI often uses these specialized warrants — issued under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — to record the telephone calls and e-mails of citizens and immigrants believed to be agents of a foreign power. Experts said the increase in this special category of warrants offsets a significant drop in traditional wiretaps in criminal cases. The federal courts administrator disclosed earlier this week that judges had authorized all but one of the 1,359 wiretap applications submitted in 2002. That was a 9 percent decrease from the 1,491 applications logged the previous year. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.