February 2003

General Accounting Office. In the third week of February 2003, the General Accounting Office made public a report challenging the accuracy and reliability of the Justice Department's terrorism-related statistics. The agency called for better management oversight and improved internal controls. The study supported the findings of an investigative article published more than a year before by Philadelphia Inquirer reporters Mark Fazlollah and Peter Nicholas. Beginning with the detailed information obtained by TRAC from the Justice Department, the two reporters had examined court records and interviewed assistant U.S. attorneys about criminal prosecutions the Justice Department had classified as involving terrorism from 1997 to 2001. Their conclusion: many of the so-called terrorism cases were nothing of the sort, frequently involving such subjects as mentally ill individuals, drunken airline passengers and convicts rioting for food.



Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2003
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