Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Patriot Act" ...

  • The Narco-Terror Trap

    This project traces the Drug Enforcement Administration’s use of a little-known statute of the Patriot Act to create a role for itself in the war on terror, based largely on unsubstantiated assertions that terrorists were using the drug trade to finance attacks against the United States. The statute, adopted with broad bi-partisan support, allows the D.E.A. to pursue so-called narco-terrorists anywhere in the world, even when none of their alleged crimes occurred on American soil. Between 2002 and 2008, the agency’s budget for foreign operations increased by some 75 percent, which supported expansions into Afghanistan, Eastern Europe, and West Africa. But an examination of the D.E.A.’s narco-terrorism cases reveals that most unraveled as they proceeded through court. The cases relied heavily on sting operations, and the only evidence of any links between terrorists and traffickers was concocted by the D.E.A., which used highly-paid informants to lure targets into staged narco-terrorism conspiracies. The first piece tells the story of three small-time smugglers from Mali who were arrested in West Africa, transported to New York and accused as narco-terrorists with links to Al-Qaeda. It explains how the D.E.A.’s narco-terrorism campaign began in the arrest-first-ask-questions-later period that followed 9/11. And it details the negligible contributions that the effort, whose total cost remains unknown, has made to keeping the country safe from either terrorists or drug traffickers. Nearly three years after the Malian’s arrest, a judge found that the men were not linked to Al-Qaeda, and that they had been motivated to participate in the D.E.A.’s fake conspiracy by an informant’s offer to pay them millions of dollars. The second piece uses an interactive comic – ProPublica’s first – to bring a sharper focus to the patterns in the DEA’s cases. It uses five different narco-terrorism operations in five different parts of the world. The interactivity of the comic allows readers to see how the agency’s stings use essentially the same script in order to make disparate targets fit the designated crime. https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/narco
  • Freedom/Fear

    "This story is a comprehensive survey of how post-September 11th security measures have impacted life in all its facets across New York City, from the workplace to the library to the airport to the courtroom to Muslim neighborhoods to political protests."
  • National Security Letters: In Hunt for Terrorists, Bureau Examines Records of Ordinary Americans

    "National Security Letters," which empower the FBI to make secret demands for personal records, are being used more often and extend the bureau's reach into the telephone calls, correspondence and financial lives of ordinary Americans. Because of the Patriot Act and the Bush administration's broad interpretation of its powers, the FBI now makes more than 30,000 such demands a year.
  • Detroit's Terror Trial

    In 2003, three men in Detroit were tried on charges of terror-related crimes. They were all of Arab descent and had phony passports. After all three were convicted, reporters conducted an investigation of the trial and found that at least a hundred documents had been withheld from defense lawyers and the chief witness against the men was an international con-artist. The convictions were thrown out and the prosecutor was charged with misconduct.
  • Frontline: Chasing the Sleeper Cell

    New York Times Television looks at the efforts of the FBI to prevent acts of terrorism before they happen. In their efforts, the government has often prosecuted groups of people. This story looks at a particular group who underwent training in Afghanistan. Though there was no imminent danger from this group, they were arrested and the courts found them guilty.
  • Unclear Danger: Inside the Lackawanna terror case

    In the spring of 2001, seven young Yemeni-American from Lackawanna, New York went to Afghanistan to train for Jihad. What followed is one of the most intense and high profile terrorism cases since Sept. 11. The story offers the perfect backdrop for a story about how terrorist cases are pursued in the wake of the Patriot Act.
  • Investigative Series into Air Marshal

    Air Marshal's were pulled out of key flights to cut down expenses on overnight stay. Later Air Marshals were reinstated on international and cross-country flights.
  • Keeping Secrets

    copy of story #20911
  • Liberty in the Balance

    A comprehensive look at how the war against terrorism has led to unprecedented curbs on the civil liberties of Americans and immigrants. The Patriot Act and its results are intensely scrutinized.
  • "Operation Enduring Liberty"; "The Cops Are Watching You"; "The Big Chill"; "Vigilante Justice"; "Homeland Security X 50"; "Foreign? Suspicious!"; "D.C.'s Virtual Panopticon"

    Series of articles in an issue of The Nation following various aspects of the "war on terror." Dreyfuss details the makeup of Maryland's Joint Terrorism Task Force and local police ties with the FBI field office. Cooper talks to Arabs in California who are seeing their organizations' numbers decline. Bach discusses citizens' groups that are encouraged to act as watchdogs on their neighbors, giving the example of a high school student with an expired visa who was turned in to authorities by his guidance counselor. Pell examines state laws and proposed laws creating new definitions of and punishments for "terrorism." Evans raises the issue of drivers' licenses and documentation of aliens. Parenti follows the installation of closed circuit television (CCTV) in Washington, D.C., and other cities. Several articles touch on the classification of protest groups in America as "terrorists."