FBI to Expand Role Battling Terrorism

Marks effort toward investigation, criminal prosecution of accused terrorists
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 28, 2009 9:21 AM CDT
FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 20, 2009, before the House Judiciary Committee.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
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(Newser) – The FBI will take a bigger role in the fight against terrorism, the Los Angeles Times reports, moving into investigation and criminal prosecution of accused terrorists. The shift marks a change from the secretive CIA operations favored by the Bush administration, and ties in with President Obama’s assertion that most alleged terrorists should be able to defend themselves against charges.

“Regardless of where any bad guy is caught, we want the bureau to be in a position to put charges on them,” said a counterterrorism official. The FBI was at the forefront of international counterterrorism before 9/11, using “non-coercive interrogations” that pushed suspects to talk through knowing “all of the intelligence” about them, said a former CIA agent. But the CIA and military will continue to play key counterterror roles, officials said.