U.S Terrorism Arrests/Convictions Significantly Overstated
Interesting report (long, but at least read the Executive Summary) from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Inspector General that says, basically, that all the U.S. terrorism statistics since 9/11—arrests, convictions, and so on—have been grossly inflated.
As summarized in the following table, we determined that the FBI, EOUSA, and the Criminal Division did not accurately report 24 of the 26 statistics we reviewed.
“EOUSA” is the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, part of the U.S. Department of Justice.
The report gives a series of reasons why the statistics were so bad. Here’s one:
The number of terrorism-related convictions was overstated because the FBI initially coded the investigative cases as terrorism-related when the cases were opened, but did not recode cases when no link to terrorism was established.
And here’s an example of a problem:
For example, Operation Tarmac was a worksite enforcement operation launched in November 2001 at the nation’s airports. During this operation, Department and other federal agents went into regional airports and checked the immigration papers of airport workers. The agents then arrested any individuals who used falsified documents, such as social security numbers, drivers’ licenses, and other identification documents, to gain employment. EOUSA officials told us they believe these defendants are properly coded under the anti-terrorism program activity. We do not agree that law enforcement efforts such as these should be counted as “anti-terrorism” unless the subject or target is reasonably linked to terrorist activity.
There’s an enormous amount of detail in the report, if you want to wade through the 80ish pages of report and another 80ish of appendices.