Statistics on Unsealed International Terrorism and Terrorism-Related Convictions
The National Security Division’s International Terrorism and Terrorism-Related Statistics Chart tracks convictions resulting from international terrorism investigations conducted since September 11, 2001, including investigations of terrorist acts planned or committed outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States over which Federal criminal jurisdiction exists and those within the United States involving international terrorists and terrorist groups. Convictions listed on the chart involve the use of a variety of Federal criminal statutes available to prevent, disrupt, and punish international terrorism and related criminal activity. The convictions are the product of the Department’s aggressive, consistent, and coordinated national enforcement effort with respect to international terrorism that was undertaken after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Criminal cases arising from international terrorism investigations are divided into two categories, according to the requisite level of coordination and monitoring required by the Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division (or its predecessor section in the Criminal Division). This coordination and monitoring exists in response to the expanded Federal criminal jurisdiction over and importance of international terrorism matters and the need to ensure coherent, consistent, and effective Federal prosecutions related to such matters. Typically, multiple defendants in a case are classified in the same category.
Category I cases involve violations of federal statutes that are directly related to international terrorism and that are utilized regularly in international terrorism matters. These statutes prohibit, for example, terrorist acts abroad against United States nationals, the use of weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to murder persons overseas, providing material support to terrorists or foreign terrorist organizations, receiving military style training from foreign terrorist organizations, and bombings of public places or government facilities. A complete list of Category I offenses is found in Appendix A.
Category II cases include defendants charged with violating a variety of other statutes where the investigation involved an identified link to international terrorism. These Category II cases include offenses such as those involving fraud, immigration, firearms, drugs, false statements, perjury, and obstruction of justice, as well as general conspiracy charges under 18 U.S.C. § 371. Prosecuting terror-related targets using Category II offenses and others is often an effective method – and sometimes the only available method – of deterring and disrupting potential terrorist planning and support activities. This approach underscores the wide variety of tools available in the U.S. criminal justice system for disrupting terror activity. Examples of Category II offenses are listed in Appendix B, and examples of Category II cases are described in Appendix C to illustrate the kinds of connections to international terrorism that are not apparent from the nature of the offenses of conviction themselves.
The chart includes the defendant’s name, district, charging date, charges brought, classification category, conviction date and conviction charges. If a convicted defendant has been sentenced, the relevant date and sentence imposed is included. The chart is constantly being updated with new convictions, but currently includes only unsealed convictions from September 11, 2001 to March 18, 2010. The chart does not include defendants whose convictions remain under seal, nor does it include defendants who have been charged with a terrorism or terrorism-related offense but have not been convicted either at trial or by guilty plea. This chart does not include convictions related solely to domestic terrorism. Note that the chart maintained by the National Security Division is distinct from statistics maintained by the Bureau of Prisons to track inmates with terrorist connections. The chart lists more than 150 defendants classified in Category I and more than 240 defendants classified in Category II.
The chart is organized by conviction date, with the most recent convictions first. The earliest defendants included on the chart were identified and detained in the course of the nationwide investigation conducted after September 11, 2001, and were subsequently charged with a criminal offense. Since then, additional defendants have been added who, at the time of charging, appeared to have a connection to international terrorism, even if they were not charged with a terrorism offense. The decision to add defendants to the chart is made on a case-by-case basis by career prosecutors in the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section, whose primary responsibility is investigating and prosecuting international and domestic terrorism cases to prevent and disrupt acts of terrorism anywhere in the world that impact on significant United States interests and persons.
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