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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

FBI Agent Impersonates Associated Press Reporter to Nab Teen in Bomb Threats

By Steve Neavling

The FBI went further than creating a bogus news site to capture a 15-year-old suspect accused of making bomb threats at a high school near Olympia, Washington.

An FBI agent impersonated an Associated Press reporter in 2007 and asked the suspect to review a bogus AP article about threats directed at the school “to be sure that the anonymous suspect was portrayed fairly,” the AP reports.

The news came in a letter Thursday to the New York Times.

The bogus article helped the FBI because his cyber information became available when the suspect clicked on the link.

“That technique was proper and appropriate under Justice Department and FBI guidelines at the time. Today, the use of such an unusual technique would probably require higher-level approvals than in 2007, but it would still be lawful and, in a rare case, appropriate,” Comey wrote.

The AP responded that the fake news report erodes confidence in the media.

“This latest revelation of how the FBI misappropriated the trusted name of The Associated Press doubles our concern and outrage, expressed earlier to Attorney General Eric Holder, about how the agency’s unacceptable tactics undermine AP and the vital distinction between the government and the press,” Kathleen Carroll, executive editor of the AP, said in a statement.


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