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Dec 22, 2009 1:31 PM

Terrorist attack feared after Jackson arrest

Police concerns about a terrorist attack stemming from the 2003 arrest of Michael Jackson led to a request for federal help, according to FBI files kept on the late pop star. The Santa Maria Police Department in California asked for FBI "involvement" after Jackson was arrested for child molestation.

Police, according to the FBI, said they believed the court case would be a "soft target" for terrorism because of "worldwide media coverage." The FBI concluded there were no threat, but did note the presence of a "New Black Panther Party" member during Jackson's first court appearance. The files also show that the FBI's legal office in London assisted local authorities with a child molestation probe in 1993 and in 1995, U.S. customs officials asked the FBI to analyze a VHS videotape as part of a child pornography investigation. The documents were released Tuesday through a Freedom of Information Act request from The Associated Press and other media.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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