Retro Report's autopsy of the post-9/11 'sleeper cell that wasn't'
The "Detroit Sleeper Cell" turned out to be a confluence of prosecutorial misconduct, a talkative snitch, and bad timing
In the edgy period after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., the Justice Department busted a "Detroit Sleeper Cell" of North African immigrants, allegedly found with plans to attack a Turkish airport and a Jordanian hospital. Federal prosecutors announced their indictment with great fanfare, and a jury convicted three of the four men.
The unraveling of the case didn't get nearly as much attention. On Monday, Retro Report posted this video, based on interviews and declassified documents, that lays out the chain of prosecutorial misconduct and the evidence that convinced the judge to overturn the convictions. Retro Report says this postmortem of the botched first terrorism case of the War on Terror era raises the question of "not only how this travesty could occur after 9/11, but how unlikely it is that such a distortion of justice could happen again today."