Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court)
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court)
Table 1. Criminal Terrorism-Domestic Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during August 2023 the government reported 39 new terrorism-domestic prosecutions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 11.4 percent over the previous month.
The comparisons of the number of defendants charged 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 2023 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of filings was up (34.8%).
Prosecutions over the past year are still much higher than they were five years ago.
Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are up 431.4 percent from levels reported in 2018.
Figure 1. Monthly Trends in Terrorism-Domestic Prosecutions
The increase from the levels five years ago in terrorism-domestic prosecutions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1.
The vertical bars in Figure 1
represent the number of terrorism-domestic prosecutions 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.
The lead investigative agency for terrorism-domestic prosecutions in August 2023
was FBI accounting for 100 percent of prosecutions referred.
Figure 2. Prosecutions by Investigative Agency
Terrorism-Domestic Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In August 2023, 5 defendants 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 August the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 18 U.S.C Section 1752 involving "Temporary residence and office of President, etc.". This was the lead charge
for 80 percent of all magistrate filings in August.
Terrorism-Domestic Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In August 2023, 34 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during August there
were an additional 5 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 August.
Top Ranked Lead Charges
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of terrorism-domestic matters
filed in U.S. District Court during August 2023.
18 USC 1752 - Temporary residence and office of President, etc.
"Temporary residence and office of President, etc." (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1752) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.
"Temporary residence and office of President, etc." (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1752) was ranked 1 a year ago.
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1512.
"Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1512 was ranked 5 a year ago.
Ranked 3rd were "Assaulting, resisting, impeding certain officers" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 111, "Civil Disorders" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 231 and "Interstate Communications" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 875.
"Civil Disorders" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 231 was ranked 3 a year ago."Interstate Communications" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 875 was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
increase in prosecutions — up 300 percent — compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 111
that involves " Assaulting, resisting, impeding certain officers ".
Compared to five years ago, the largest increase — 28.6 percent — was registered for
prosecutions under " Interstate Communications " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 875 ).
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest
decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago — down 43.8 percent — was
" Interstate Communications " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 875 ).
Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in prosecutions — 200 percent — was
for filings where the lead charge was " " ( ).
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In August 2023 the Justice Department's case-by-case records show that the government brought 14.1 terrorism-domestic prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.
Understandably, there is great variation in the per capita number of terrorism-domestic prosecutions that are filed in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.
The districts registering the
largest number of prosecutions per capita for these matters last month are shown in Table 3.
Districts must have at least 5 terrorism-domestic prosecutions to receive a ranking.
Table 3. Top 10 Districts (per ten million people)
The District of Washington, D.C. (Washington) — with 6268 prosecutions as compared with 14.1 prosecutions per ten million population in the United States — was the most active during August 2023.
The District of Washington, D.C. (Washington) was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 4 for most frequent use five years ago.
The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth
in the rate of terrorism-domestic prosecutions compared to one year ago — 47.2 percent — was
Washington, D.C. (Washington).
This was the same district that had the largest increase — 7700 percent — when compared with five years ago.
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 terrorism-domestic crime cases of this type during August 2023 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 14 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of terrorism-domestic filings per capita, while the remaining 3 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 17 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)
Judges John D. Bates in the District of Washington, D.C. (Washington), Amit Priyavadan Mehta in the District of Washington, D.C. (Washington) and Timothy James Kelly in the District of Washington, D.C. (Washington) ranked 1st with 4 defendants in terrorism-domestic cases.