The Justice Department unveiled yesterday extensive new details of its use of the USA Patriot Act in a bid to shore up support for the embattled anti-terrorism law, asserting that it has helped thwart al Qaeda plots and led to scores of criminal convictions since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. According to a 29-page report to Congress released by Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, Justice Department terrorism investigations have resulted in charges against 310 people and have yielded 179 convictions or guilty pleas. The report says the Patriot Act was central to those cases, reports the Washington . . .
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