FY 2019 Domestic Terrorism Prosecutions Twice Number for International Terrorism
(30 Aug 2019) Prosecutions for domestic terrorism outnumber those for acts of international terrorism by 2-to-1. The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during the first ten months of FY 2019 the government reported 204 terrorism-related prosecutions had been filed. Of these 71 or one in three were for acts of domestic terrorism. In contrast, just 34 or one in six (16.7%) were classified by federal prosecutors as international terrorism.

The U.S. Justice Department also includes other offenses under its broad category of terrorism- related prosecutions. These additional cases concern offenses that compromise critical infrastructure protection, terrorism-related financing, terrorism-related export enforcement, as well as terrorism hoaxes.

Over half of federal judicial districts had at least one terrorism-related prosecution. In six out of ten cases the Federal Bureau of Investigation was the lead investigative agency.

A surprisingly diverse array of federal statutes have been used in charging defendants for what the Justice Department has classified as terrorism-related crimes. The most common lead charge was providing material support to foreign terrorist organizations. But this accounted for only 11.3 percent of prosecutions. The next most commonly used lead charge was conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the U.S. under 18 U.S.C. 371 and interstate communications violations under 18 U.SC 875. In the case of 18 U.S.C. 371, this statute is more commonly used to prosecute white-collar offenders rather than terrorists.

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