National Internal Security/Terrorism Prosecutions for August 2023
Number Latest Month
Percent Change from previous month
Percent Change from 1 year ago
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court)
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court)
Table 1. Criminal National Internal Security/Terrorism Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during August 2023 the government reported 42 new national internal security/terrorism prosecutions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 14.3 percent over the previous month.
The comparisons of the number of defendants charged with 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 2023 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of filings was up (15%).
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 198.7 percent from levels reported in 2018.
Figure 1. Monthly Trends in National Internal Security/Terrorism Prosecutions
The increase from the levels five years ago in national internal security/terrorism prosecutions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1.
The vertical bars in Figure 1
represent the number of national internal security/terrorism 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.
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.
Terrorism Related Hoaxes
Export Enforcement Terrorism Related
National Security/Critical Infrastructure Protection
The largest number of prosecutions of these matters in August 2023 was for "Terrorism-Domestic", accounting for 92.9 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Internal Security Offenses" (4.8%), "Terrorism-Related Hoaxes" (2.4%).
See Figure 2.
The lead investigative agency for national internal security/terrorism prosecutions in August 2023
was FBI accounting for 100 percent of prosecutions referred.
Figure 2. Specific Types of Prosecutions
Figure 3. Prosecutions by Investigative Agency
National Internal Security/Terrorism Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In August 2023, 5 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 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.
National Internal Security/Terrorism Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In August 2023, 37 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during August there
were an additional 7 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 national internal security/terrorism 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 were the lead charges "Interstate Communications" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 875 and "Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1512.
"Interstate Communications" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 875 was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago."Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1512 was ranked 7 a year ago.
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
increase in prosecutions — up 500 percent — compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1038
that involves " False Information and Hoaxes ".
Compared to five years ago, the largest increase — 100 percent — was registered for
prosecutions under " Assaulting, resisting, impeding certain officers " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 111 ).
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest
decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago — down 36.4 percent — was
" Interstate Communications " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 875 ).
Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in prosecutions — 25 percent — was
for filings where the lead charge was " Agents of foreign governments " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 951 ).
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In August 2023 the Justice Department's case-by-case records show that the government brought 15.9 national internal security/terrorism prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.
Understandably, there is great variation in the per capita number of national internal security/terrorism 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 national internal security/terrorism 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 15.9 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 1 for most frequent use five years ago.
The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth
in the rate of national internal security/terrorism prosecutions compared to one year ago — 42.9 percent — was
Washington, D.C. (Washington).
This was the same district that had the largest increase — 1233.3 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 national internal security/terrorism 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 national internal security/terrorism filings per capita, while the remaining 5 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 19 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 national internal security/terrorism cases.