Last January and February, the Justice Department filed charges against 56 people, labeling all the cases as “terrorism.” But a Philadelphia Inquirer investigation found that at least 41 of them had nothing to do with terrorism – a point that prosecutors of the cases acknowledge.
Among the cases:
28 Latinos charged with working illegally at the airport in Austin, Texas, most of them using phony Social Security numbers.
Eight Puerto Ricans charged with trespassing on Navy property on the island of Vieques, long a site of civil protests of ordnance testing.
A Middle Eastern man indicted in Detroit for allegedly passing bad checks who has the same name as a Hezbollah leader.
A Middle Eastern college student charged in Trenton with paying a stand-in to take his college English-proficiency tests. He received a one-month jail sentence after pleading guilty.