Why the U.S. provided at least 150 people with bombs, transportation and other means of carrying out terrorist plots.
Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has claimed many victories in the war on terror.
Each time a domestic terror suspect is arrested, the public is told that another horrific plot has been averted.
But after combing through thousands of pages of court documents, investigative journalist Trevor Aaronson came to a different conclusion -- that most of the men arrested could never have done what they were accused of if the FBI hadn't given them the tools to do so.
In his new book, "The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terrorism," Aaronson argues that the U.S. government is responsible for "hatching and financing more terrorist plots in the United States than any other group." He spoke to Heather Maher.
You began your research by asking whether the FBI is "busting terrorist plots -- or leading them?" What did you find out?
Trevor Aaronson: The FBI is looking for what they term "a lone wolf terrorist," which is someone holed up in an apartment somewhere who sympathizes with Al-Qaeda but may lack the specific means to do that. And so the FBI uses sting operations to [find] these people -- these people who may want to commit an act of terrorism, are right on that line from moving from sympathizer to operator -- and then through these sting operations, lure them out and get them involved in a terrorism plot that they're ultimately prosecuted for.