Terror Trials by the Numbers

Stings, informants, and underwear bombs: Digging through the data from federal terrorism cases.

Like these charts? Play with the full data set in our interactive database or read the story of our yearlong investigation. Click on the charts to see the data behind them.

48% were targeted with an informant 31% were nabbed by a sting 10% were lured in by an informant who led the plot 13% are pending trial 22% have been found guilty 66% have pleaded guilty

Federal terrorism cases have been filed in 36 states and Washington, DC.

Click the yellow circles to see all the terrorism cases in your state.


Califonia: 34 Oregon: 10 Washington: 3 Alaska: 2 Arizona: 6 Montana: 1 Colorado: 5 Texas: 32 Oklahoma: 1 Wisconsin: 1 Iowa: 1 Tennessee: 1 South Carolina: 1 Maine: 1 Minnesota: 20 Michigan: 45 Pennsylvania: 41 Florida: 45 District of Columbia: 3 Indiana: 3 Kentucky: 3 Georgia: 3 Alabama: 2 Mississippi: 2 Arkansas: 2 Missouri: 2 Louisiana: 2 Illinois: 10

Connecticut: 1 Ohio: 13 Virginia: 37 North Carolina: 16 Massachusetts: 5 Delaware: 2 Maryland: 14 New Jersey: 18 New York

* Since 9/11, the federal government has prosecuted more than 500 people for plotting terrorist acts, trying to assist terrorists, or other crimes connected to terrorism. We reviewed cases involving 400 Department of Justice-designated terrorism defendants and another 108 cases that fit the doj’s definition of international terrorism cases.

Note: the count of “other crimes” does not include defendants who were charged with terrorism as well as non-terrorism crimes. (For example, the count does not reflect a defendant charged with material support and an immigration charge.)

Federal terrorism charges cover a range of offenses, from taking hostages to bombings. However, in many cases prosecutors choose to charge defendants only with non-terrorism crimes allegedly committed in conjunction with terrorism.

Charts based on data as of August 15, 2011. Data on the website has been updated since then. Research and design by Dave Gilson, Lauren Ellis, Carolyn Perot, Trevor Aaronson, and Jeff Berlin.


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