5, 2006 at 6:30 p.m.
FBI National Press Office
AND DOJ RESPONSE TO TRAC REPORT
(In response to TRAC report scheduled to be released on
It is astonishing that TRAC continues to present statistics
that demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of the basic
principles on how federal investigations and prosecutions
work. 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,
particularly the value of early disruption of potential
terrorist acts with proactive investigation and prosecution.
Specifically, the report questions the number of international
terrorism referrals from the FBI that were not prosecuted.
The reality is that a referral does not mean that criminal
charges should be filed. Often, matters are referred to
prosecutors to assist in further investigation through the
use of criminal investigative tools that require legal process
such as a subpoena or surveillance order.
There are also a number of factual reporting errors. Specifically,
TRAC is not clear what its declination rate refers to, but
the actual matter declination rate for international terrorism
cases is 67 percent. Instead of referring to the actual
36 defendants charged with international terrorism offenses
in FY 06 (up to June; 40 during the full year), TRAC mysteriously
comes up with 19. In addition, twenty defendants were charged
with terrorist hoaxes in FY 06.
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