Explaining the Emergence of Entrapment in Post-9/11 Terrorism Investigations
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A growing number of studies have examined post-9/11 terrorism sting operations, typically concluding that entrapment is frequent in these cases. Yet no research has documented the full array of mechanisms driving these preemptive prosecutions. Based on in-depth interviews and documentary research, this article identifies the key factors shaping the widespread emergence of entrapment in terrorism sting operations. It concludes that an interconnected set of discursive and policy shifts, institutional processes, and cognitive biases explains the post-9/11 proliferation of terrorism prosecutions with compelling entrapment claims. Neo-orientalism is proposed as the ultimate driver that has set into motion and enabled many of these mechanisms, giving rise to a cultural and political economy of convictions in which a type of racialized police misconduct—itself a state crime—is normalized and rewarded.
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Conflict of interest
The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.
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