John Shiffman, Kristina Cooke and Mark Hosenball
June 18, 2013
The FBI has used secret evidence obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to prosecute at least 27 accused terrorists since 2007, according to a Reuters review of public records.
While the recent spotlight has been on the use of the FISA law by the U.S. National Security Agency for surveillance programs following disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the FBI also makes extensive use of the law for domestic counterterrorism.
The Reuters review highlights the extent to which the FBI has come to rely on FISA to investigate or thwart domestic attacks. It involved searching the national court docket using the database of Westlaw, which is owned by Thomson Reuters Corp, and includes only cases where prosecutors are required to file a notice under FISA. Other cases where FISA was used may be sealed.