The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during November 2006 the government reported 4 new domestic terrorism prosecutions.
The comparisons of the number of defendants charged with domestic terrorism-related
offenses are based on case-by-case information obtained by TRAC under the Freedom
of Information Act from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys. (See
When monthly 2006 prosecutions are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the filings were down (-15.6 percent).
Prosecutions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago.
Overall, the data show that the prosecutions are down 25.5
percent from levels reported in 2001.
The dip in
these cases is partly related to increases in the matters filed in U.S. Magistrate Courts. If magistrate cases
are excluded and only Federal District Court cases are counted, the overall decrease in
domestic terrorism prosecutions is 2.8 percent instead of 25.5 percent.
The evidence suggests that part of the difference may be the result of improvements in the recording of the magistrate cases
by the Justice Department.
Figure 1: Criminal Domestic Terrorism Prosecutions over the last five years
The decrease from the levels five years ago in domestic terrorism prosecutions is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1
represent the number of domestic terrorism prosecutions recorded on a month-to-month
basis. The superimposed line on the bars plots the six-month moving average so
that natural fluctuations are smoothed out.
Number of Defendants in Domestic Terrorism Cases
Table 1 lists all separate cases with the number of defendants.