The Intercept | Trial and Terror

The U.S. government has prosecuted 796 people for terrorism since the 9/11 attacks. Most of them never even got close to committing an act of violence.

Trial and Terror  The Intercept  April 2017
Read the full report with extensive data on The Intercept

The U.S. government has prosecuted almost 800 people for international terrorism-related offenses since 9/11, with a near-perfect record of conviction. The Intercept’s Trial and Terror database, compiled by Trevor Aaronson and Margot Williams, brings questionable tactics into sharp relief and exposes the many contradictions of the war on terror.

Most defendants have been charged with material support, criminal conspiracy, immigration violations, and making false statements — vague, nonviolent offenses that give prosecutors wide latitude for scoring quick convictions or plea bargains. While defendants caught up in FBI stings have often received harsh sentences, those with real terrorist ties have leveraged their connections for leniency. Meanwhile, the government has quietly released hundreds convicted on terrorism charges with little if any monitoring, suggesting they never posed much of a threat in the first place.

Andrea Jones
Associate Editor, The Intercept

More Than 400 People Convicted of Terrorism in the U.S. Have Been Released Since 9/11
Trevor Aaronson
In the Liberty City Seven case, a group of street hustlers working a scam fell victim to an FBI informant posing as an agent of Al Qaeda.


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