Question for those who watch The Enemy Within series on NBC?

could there be a real life version of erica shepard, a person in federal custody frequently cooperating with the fbi and going out there w them?

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  • Anonymous
    7 months ago
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    Sort of but not as depicted in the show. I don't think there'd be any kind of case where a cooperating prisoner would be brought along on FBI missions like depicted on the show. They've got to jazz things up for dramatic purposes. But federal prisoners cooperate with the feds all the time, even in very extensive ways. There was a news story recently about American who had joined al Qaeda and trained with them and eventually arrested. The federal government is now asking that he get a reduction in his sentence because he's been working with them for years in providing information about al Qaeda and how they operate. The feds, like other law enforcement, will sometimes run people who they have arrested as informants. These people will be sent back out into the world with instructions to gather information for the authorities. One infamous example of this is David Coleman Headley who was arrested on drug smuggling charges in the 1990s and turned as an informant for the DEA. In 2008, Headley would go on to lead an Islamist terrorist attack on sites in Mumbai, India.

    But in real life I think they use cooperative prisoners more for their specific knowledge of facts rather than their skills. In the show (I only watched the fist couple of episodes) they seem to recruit her because she's a peerless profiler. In real life the federal government would generally have people with whatever skills they need like that. But what they need from informants is specific knowledge of situations, groups, people, and such.

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