Putting TRAC to Work
Congressional Documents and Publications
June 3, 2010

Report: Federal terror cases dropped sharply after 9/1

Prosecutors are also becoming more selective in the cases they decide to indict, declining to prosecute for evidentiary reasons four out of five referrals from the FBI and other agencies, the nonprofit Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse states in its latest report analyzing prosecution trends. The trends identified by TRAC, affiliated with Syracuse University, have continued through the first full fiscal year of the Obama administration and are projected to remain the same through fiscal year 2010. While the FBI and other investigative agencies brought an average of 100 cases monthly to federal prosecutors shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, that has dropped to about 11 or 12 a month recently, said David Burnham, co-director of TRAC. "This doesn't appear to be related to the actual understanding of actual [terrorism] threats, but of the law enforcement response to fear we felt after September 11," said Burnham about long-term prosecution trends. Burnham said TRAC will be watching in coming months to see if there is a spike in terrorism cases brought following the May 1 Times Square bombing attempt, which led to the arrest of Faisal Shahzad.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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