Intelligence Constraints of the 1970s and Domestic Terrorism

Executive Summary

by Brian Michael Jenkins, Sorrel Wildhorn, Marvin Lavin


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This report summarizes the conclusions of a study of constraints on intelligence activities in the investigation of terrorist or terrorist-related crimes in the United States. The study addresses the question: To what extent did the post-Watergate intelligence "rules" affect law enforcement's ability to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic terrorism? Specifically, the study compares and contrasts the investigation of domestic terrorism and the prosecution of alleged terrorists during the period before 1975, when the regulations governing such intelligence activities were more flexible, and during the period from 1975 to 1980 when constraints were greatly increased. This study does not address the regulatory changes or cases prosecuted after 1980.

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