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US Federal Informants Committed Over 22,800 Crime; FBI, Other Agencies Paid $548 Million To Them

NEW YORK: According to recently leaked government audits and records reported by the Justice Department’s Inspector General (IG), US federal government informants committed 22,800 felonies between 2011 and 2014.

Between 2011 and 2018, taxpayers footed the $548 million bill for informants working for the FBI, DEA, and ATF.

Unclassified government records acquired by Gizmodo earlier this year revealed that FBI informants committed 9,600 crimes in 2017 and 2018 alone – the first two years of Donald Trump’s presidency.

TRT World cites two recent examples: the plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Witmer and the Jan. 6 Capitol brawl.

According to Buzzfeed News, 12 informants were revealed to have been involved in the scheme to kidnap Michigan Governor Witmer. According to reports, FBI informants scheduled meetings and procured explosives for attendees.

This summer, the New York Times discovered that at least two FBI spies were embedded with the crowd on January 6 in Washington, D.C., and were in contact with their FBI handlers on the day of the Capitol disturbance.

All of these crimes have cost taxpayers money, $294 million (2012-2018), with an average yearly cost of $42 million — with “long term” FBI informants accounting for 20% of its intelligence connections and fund beneficiaries.

Similarly, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) spent $237 million from 2011 to 2015 and had over 18,000 active informants assigned to its domestic offices, with 9,000 of them on the federal agency’s payroll for services rendered. According to TRT World, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) also routed $17.2 million (2012-2015) to 1,855 informants who were paid $4.3 million per year.

To put the confidential informant activities in context, the FBI’s post-9/11 monitoring campaign in Muslim communities generated a wave of recruitment, resulting in the recruitment of approximately 15,000 more informants to source information on immigration, criminal, or financial concerns.

TRT specifics, much of that material is frequently used to leverage the recruitment of other informants. To that purpose, current informant population numbers are unavailable, but many feel they are significantly more than originally believed.

As this information and the FBI’s recruiting procedures have been public, several people have come forward to describe how they were targeted by the FBI because of their ethnic origin — and harassed when they said they didn’t want to be an informant.

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