Since 2009, paid FBI informants have played a central role in nearly 50 percent of all domestic-terrorism cases. Informants, who can earn up to $100,000 per case, are instructed to build relationships with persons of interest in the Muslim community. Informants then use a mixture of conversation, persuasion, and coercion to determine if these individuals -- when given the plot, means, and opportunity -- will then participate in terrorist activity. Critics of this strategy, known as "preemption" or "prevention," argue that the government is solving plots that they themselves create in order to declare an easy victory in the war on terror. In "(T)error," former Black Panther Saeed "Shariff" Torres, who’s worked as a counterterrorism informant for more than two decades, takes on what he swears is his last job for the FBI, inviting filmmakers to follow his covert efforts to befriend a suspected jihadist -- without informing his superiors. As surprising revelations emerge, not only about Torres' past but also about the increasingly murky ethical grounds of his present mission, "(T)error" explores just how far we are going to prevent terror and exactly what liberties we are sacrificing to get there.
A brilliant intelligence analyst is harshly prosecuted under the Espionage Act and must prepare to go to prison.