National Internal Security/Terrorism Convictions for May 2013

Number Latest Month 31
Percent Change from previous month 72.2
Percent Change from 1 year ago 17.4
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -33.3
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -31.0
Table 1: Criminal National Internal Security/Terrorism Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during May 2013 the government reported 31 new national internal security/terrorism convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 72.2% over the previous month.

The comparisons of the number of defendants convicted for national internal security/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 Table 1)

When monthly 2013 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was up (17.4 percent). Convictions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are down 33.3 percent from levels reported in 2008.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

Figure 1: Monthly trends in national internal security/terrorism convictions

The decrease from the levels five years ago in national internal security/terrorism convictions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1 represent the number of national internal security/terrorism convictions of this type recorded on a month-to-month basis. Where a prosecution was initially filed in U.S. Magistrate Court and then transferred to the U.S. District Court, the magistrate filing date was used since this provides an earlier indicator of actual trends. The superimposed line on the bars plots the six-month moving average so that natural fluctuations are smoothed out. The one and five-year rates of change in Table 1 and in the sections that follow are all based upon this six-month moving average. To view trends year-by-year rather than month-by-month, see TRAC's annual report series for a broader picture.

Within the broad category of national internal security/terrorism, cases were classified by prosecutors into more specific types.

Case types within national internal security/terrorism are

  • Matters Relating to National Internal Security

  • International Terrorism Incidents Which Impact on U.S.

  • Domestic Terrorism

  • Terrorism Related Hoaxes

  • Terrorist Financing

  • Export Enforcement Terrorism Related

  • Anti-Terrorism/Environmental

  • Anti-Terrorism/Identity Theft

  • Anti-Terrorism/Immigration

  • Anti-Terrorism/OCDETF Drugs

  • Anti-Terrorism/Non-OCDETF Drugs

  • Anti-Terrorism/Violent Crime

  • Anti-Terrorism/All Others

  • National Security/Critical Infrastructure Protection

The largest number of convictions of these matters in May 2013 was for "Terrorism-Domestic", accounting for 35.5 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Internal Security Offenses" (22.6%), " Terrorism-Critical Infrastructure Protec" (22.6%), "Terrorism-Related Financing" (12.9%), "Terrorism-Related Hoaxes" (6.5%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for national internal security/terrorism convictions in May 2013 was FBI accounting for 48 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of national internal security/terrorism convictions were: DHS (13% ), ATF (3%), Defense (3%). See Figure 3.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of convictions
Pie chart of agenrevgrp

Figure 3: Convictions by investigative agency

National Internal Security/Terrorism Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In May 2013, 1 defendants in national internal security/terrorism cases for these matters were filed in U.S. Magistrate Courts. These courts handle less serious misdemeanor cases, including what are called "petty offenses." In addition, complaints are sometimes filed in the magistrate courts before an indictment or information is entered. In these cases, the matter starts in the magistrate courts and later moves to the district court where subsequent proceedings take place.

In the magistrate courts in May the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1924 involving the "Unauthorized removal/retention of classified docs". This was the lead charge for 100 percent of all magistrate convictions in May.

National Internal Security/Terrorism Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In May 2013, 30 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during May there were an additional 0 defendants whose cases moved from the magistrate courts to the U.S. district courts after an indictment or information was filed. The sections which follow cover both sets of cases and therefore cover all matters filed in district court during May.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the convictions of national internal security/terrorism matters filed in U.S. District Court during May 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 844 - Explosives - Importation and storage of explosives 3 1 More
18 USC 1512 - Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant 3 1 More
18 USC 1546 - Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents 3 1 More
18 USC 1001 - Fraud/false statements or entries generally 2 4 More
18 USC 1362 - Malicious Mischief - communications 2 4 More
18 USC 1791 - Providing or possessing contraband in prison 2 4 More
18 USC 2339B - Provide material support to foreign terrorist orgs 2 4 More
18 USC 372 - Conspiracy to impede or injure officer 1 8 More
18 USC 871 - Threats against President and successors 1 8 More
18 USC 876 - Mailing threatening communications 1 8 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 1 8 More
18 USC 1038 - False Information and Hoaxes 1 8 More
18 USC 1503 - Influencing or injuring officer or juror generally 1 8 More
18 USC 1521 - Retaliate against federal judge/law enforcement false claim/slander 1 8 More
18 USC 1542 - False statement in application and use of passport 1 8 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 1 8 More
18 USC 2332 - Terrorism - Criminal penalties 1 8 More
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 1 8 More
49 USC 46312 - Reckless Transportation of HAZMAT 1 8 More
49 USC 46505 - Carrying a Weapon or Explosive on an Aircraft 1 8 More
Table 2: Top charges for convictions

  • "Explosives - Importation and storage of explosives" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 844), "Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1512) and "Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1546) were the most frequent recorded lead charges.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In May 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 11.7 national internal security/terrorism convictions for every ten million people in the United States.

Understandably, there is great variation in the number of national internal security/terrorism convictions in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.

The districts registering the largest number of convictions of this type last month are shown in Table 3.


Judicial District Count Rank  
N Car, E 5 1 More
Ohio, N 4 2 More
Tenn, W 3 3 More
Cal, C 2 4 More
Conn 2 4 More
Mass 2 4 More
N. J. 2 4 More
Texas, N 2 4 More
Cal, E 1 9 More
Cal, S 1 9 More
Minnesota 1 9 More
Nebraska 1 9 More
Texas, W 1 9 More
Utah 1 9 More
Virg, E 1 9 More
Wash, W 1 9 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The Eastern District of North Carolina (Raleigh)—with 5 convictions—was the most active during May 2013.

  • The Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland) ranked 2nd.

  • Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) is now ranking 3rd.

Top Ranked District Judges

At any one time, there are about 680 federal District Court judges working in the United States. The judges recorded with the largest number of new national internal security/terrorism crime cases resulting in convictions of this type during May 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Britt, William Earl N Car, E 3 1 More
Katz, David A. Ohio, N 2 2 More
Pearson, Benita Yalonda Ohio, N 2 2 More
Nguyen, Jacqueline Hong-Ngoc Cal, C 1 4 More
Mueller, Kimberly Jo Cal, E 1 4 More
McKeown, M. Margaret Cal, S 1 4 More
Burns, Ellen Bree Conn 1 4 More
Covello, Alfred V. Conn 1 4 More
Stearns, Richard Gaylore Mass 1 4 More
Zobel, Rya Weickert Mass 1 4 More
Davis, Michael James Minnesota 1 4 More
Fox, James Carroll N Car, E 1 4 More
Dever, James C., III N Car, E 1 4 More
Debevoise, Dickinson Richards N. J. 1 4 More
Chesler, Stanley R. N. J. 1 4 More
Bataillon, Joseph F. Nebraska 1 4 More
McCalla, Jon Phipps Tenn, W 1 4 More
Mays, Samuel H., Jr. Tenn, W 1 4 More
Anderson, Stanley Thomas Tenn, W 1 4 More
Cummings, Samuel Ray Texas, N 1 4 More
McBryde, John H. Texas, N 1 4 More
Sparks, Sam Texas, W 1 4 More
Nuffer, David Utah 1 4 More
Brinkema, Leonie M. Virg, E 1 4 More
Leighton, Ronald B. Wash, W 1 4 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

All 25 of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of national internal security/terrorism convictions . (Because of ties, there were a total of 25 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge William Earl Britt in the Eastern District of North Carolina (Raleigh) ranked 1st with 3 convicted in national internal security/terrorism convictions.

  • Judges David A. Katz in the Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland) and Benita Yalonda Pearson in the Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland) ranked 2nd with 2 convicted in national internal security/terrorism convictions.

Report Generated: July 22, 2013
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