Study: Terror finance prosecutions lagging

April 16, 2008 at 3:37 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 16 (UPI) -- Despite aggressive use of U.S. anti-terror laws, federal prosecutors have a poor success rate when it comes to prosecuting charities for supporting terrorism.

A new report from the Center on Law and Security at New York University Law School says that since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks only 5 charities and 49 individuals have been prosecuted for terrorist financing, as opposed to 646 prosecutions brought for direct terrorist crimes.

Although nearly half the charities were prosecuted under four "core" anti-terrorist laws, as opposed to less than a third of terrorist defendants generally, prosecutors only obtained two convictions, a 12 percent success rate, as opposed to a 69 percent conviction rate for terrorism prosecutions generally.

Charity prosecutions for terrorism had an acquittal rate of 41 percent, compared to only 10 percent for prosecutions under terrorism statutes generally.

The report is the latest in a regular series of scorecards on terrorism prosecutions produced by specialists at the center.

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