RealNews

Federal Terrorism Prosecutions Increase

Federal prosecutions of terrorism cases have increased tenfold since the Sept. 11 attacks as authorities expanded the types of crimes included, Justice Department records show. During the year that began 19 days after the attacks on New York and Washington, federal prosecutors charged 1,208 individuals with crimes they classified as related to terrorism or international security, compared with just 115 the previous year, according to records obtained by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). Nearly half of the terrorism prosecutions last year were initiated by investigators from the Social Security Administration and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The two agencies had just two such cases the previous year. Many of the new cases arose from the terrorism prevention efforts aimed at illegal aliens and airport workers with fake Social Security numbers. Justice Department officials refused to comment directly on the TRAC data, but Attorney General John Ashcroft said in an Associated Press interview Wednesday that prevention of new terrorist attacks has been the government’s top priority since Sept. 11. He claimed “monumental progress” in achieving that goal. Full Story

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