TRAC Reports Menu

Criminal Enforcement Against Terrorists
A TRAC Special Report Supplement
September 5, 2002

                                               what do these counts mean?

This supplement provides the latest available information about the referrals for prosecution by all agencies of matters that the United States attorneys classified as involving terrorism. With data about the referrals and prosecutions reported during April of 2002, it adds a month to TRAC's previous supplement of  June 2002. This abbreviated coverage has occurred because the Justice Department is inexplicably withholding the records for the most recent three-month period that TRAC has requested under the FOIA .

The just released April 2002, data, however, reveal several developments of interest.

  In absolute numbers, agency referrals to federal prosecutors for matters categorized as international terrorism jumped by one-third during April—170 new referrals compared with 495 from October 1, 2001 to March 31, 2002. The prosecutions of these cases were also sharply higher, 115 in April alone. This compares to only 51 in the first six months of FY 2002. By contrast, changes in domestic terrorism enforcement were modest. In April, there were only 34 reported domestic terrorism referrals, compared with 450 previously. And prosecutions actually lagged, only 6 new indictments versus 132 in the previous six months. For complete trends see graphs for:

The actual referral-by-referrals records are available on TRAC's subscription site, TRACFED.

  The federal agency with the most international terrorism referrals in April was a surprise—the Social Security Administration. It recommended 78 individuals be indicted for such crimes, compared with only 39 referrals during the month from the FBI. The Department of Transportation was third with 23 new referrals, followed by the INS and Customs. The FBI was the source of most referrals for domestic terrorism. See table.

  In terms of referrals and prosecutions of these matters, which communities were most active? A total of 34 federal judicial districts reported receiving new referrals for the prosecution of either international or domestic terrorism. The government, however, chose to direct most of the new international terrorism referrals—125 out of 170—to the federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria) and all but two of the new prosecutions (113 out of 115) were filed in this district. See table.

The Eastern district of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) had the largest number of new referrals for domestic terrorism—4 out of 34 of them. But unlike the case for international terrorism matters, referrals for domestic terrorism were not concentrated in any particular district.

Earlier TRAC Terrorism Reports
| December 2001 | June 2002 |

TRAC Copyright TRAC Reports Web Site TRAC Web Site