Federal prosecutors rejected 87 percent of the international terrorism cases brought by the FBI during the first nine months of fiscal year 2006, said any analysis reported by USA Today. The review, by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), found that the number of rejections has been generally increasing since 2001. Prosecutions fell from 118 defendants in fiscal year 2002, to 19 defendants from Oct. 1, 2005, to June 30.
The Justice Department said the analysis represented an “astonishing misunderstanding” of the inner workings of the criminal justice system. “This report contains inaccurate figures, relies on a faulty assumption that every referral from an investigative agency should result in a criminal prosecution and ignores the reality of how the war on terrorism is being conducted,” said Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse. He said cases rejected for prosecution don’t necessarily close investigations. He added that the U.S. has prosecuted 36 international terrorism defendants, nearly double the number TRAC reported.