Police concerns that media-hungry terrorists would attack Michael Jackson’s trial as a “soft target” led to a request for federal help, according to FBI files kept on the late pop star. The documents also show that the FBI helped facilitate interviews in the Philippines by California authorities investigating Jackson over allegations that he had sexually abused boys.
The FBI monitored Jackson for more than a decade, but the files contain no major revelations about his private life and the bureau apparently never developed any solid evidence against him.
In 2004, 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 the “worldwide media coverage” the trial would attract.
The FBI concluded there were no threats, but did note the presence in an early court appearance of “The Nation of Islam, represented by its security unit Fruits of Islam,” and of a New Black Panther Party member whose name was left blank in the files. Jackson used Nation of Islam bodyguards during the legal proceedings.