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Writer Recounts Visit from Terrorism Task Force

Writer Michele Catalano published an essay on Medium, recounting how a “joint terrorism task force” sent six agents to her house–reportedly because their family used computers to research pressure cookers and backpacks.

UPDATE: Suffolk County Police Department have released this statement:

Suffolk County Criminal Intelligence Detectives received a tip from a Bay Shore based computer company regarding suspicious computer searches conducted by a recently released employee. The former employee’s computer searches took place on this employee’s workplace computer. On that computer, the employee searched the terms “pressure cooker bombs” and “backpacks.”

The Atlantic has been reporting on the story, confirming that the FBI was not part of the visit. Here is an excerpt from the dramatic essay:

They asked if they could search the house, though it turned out to be just a cursory search. They walked around the living room, studied the books on the shelf (nope, no bomb making books, no Anarchist Cookbook), looked at all our pictures, glanced into our bedroom, pet our dogs … They mentioned that they do this about 100 times a week. And that 99 of those visits turn out to be nothing. I don’t know what happens on the other 1% of visits and I’m not sure I want to know what my neighbors are up to.

On Twitter, Catalano responded to questions about her story. “Media: I’m not giving interviews. Sorry,” she wrote.

“I’ll say it once: I didn’t make it up. Shutting down twitter for the day. Thanks to those defending my integrity,” she concluded.

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