The Lawfare of
A study by Project SALAM
National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms
Written by Stephen Downs, Esq. and Kathy Manley, Esq.
Lynne Jackson, database designer
Jeanne Finley, editor
Lawfare: the use of the law as a weapon of war.
–– “Law and Military Interventions: Preserving Humanitarian Values in 21st-Century Conflicts” by Brigadier General (S) Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., USAF. In Humanitarian Challenges for Military Intervention, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, November 2001.
Press Reports on "Inventing Terrorists"
This study, sponsored by two national organizations, Project
SALAM (Support And Legal Advocacy for Muslims) and the National
Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms (NCPCF), focuses on post-9/11 claims
by the U.S. government that it keeps the county safe from terrorism by
arresting hundreds of so-called “terrorists” who were about to strike the
U.S. until the FBI foiled their plots. In fact, this study shows that there have
been remarkably few actual terrorism threats to this country in the last
decade. The vast majority of arrests in the war on terror have consisted of
• the FBI foiling its own entrapment plots; or
• the government arresting people on material support for terrorism
charges that effectively criminalize innocent conduct, such as
charitable giving and management, free speech, free association,
peace-making, and social hospitality; or
• inflation of minor or technical incidents into terrorism events, such
as immigration application inaccuracies, old weapons charges, or inaccurate statements to governmental officials The study shows that the war on terror has been largely a charade designed
Statistically, the study asks how many of the individuals who appear on the Department of Justice (DOJ) 2001–2010 list of “terrorism and terrorism-related convictions” (Appendix A) represented real terrorism threats, and how many were cases of preemptive prosecutions. The study then categorizes the cases of the individuals on the DOJ list as one of three types of cases: preemptive prosecutions, cases that contained elements of preemptive prosecution, or cases that were not preemptive prosecutions/represented real terrorism threats.
The statistical analysis shows that 72.4% of convictions on the DOJ list represent cases of preemptive prosecution that were based on suspicion of the defendant’s perceived ideology and not on his/her criminal activity. Another 21.8% of convictions on the DOJ list represent people who began on their own to engage in minor, non-terrorist criminal activity but whose cases were manipulated and inflated by the government to appear as though they were “terrorists”; these cases are referred to in the study as “elements of preemptive prosecution” or “elements.” Overall, 94.2% of all the terrorism-related convictions on the DOJ list have been either preemptive prosecution cases or cases that involved elements of preemptive prosecution.
The study defines preemptive prosecution, gives background on the origin of the concept, discusses the tactical patterns that characterize its use by the government, and provides a methodology for determining the categorization of a case. The study then shows, for cases on the DOJ list, the percentages for each categorization of a case, as well as percentages for the tactical patterns used in each categorization. The study concludes that the government has used preemptive prosecution to exaggerate the threat of Muslim extremism to the security of the country, and presents some hypotheses as to why the government has done this, without taking a position on which possibilities may be correct. The study also makes recommendations to change the present unfair terrorism laws.
Access the Project SALAM Database
The purpose of the Project SALAM database is to bring together information in one place about United States Justice Department’s post-9/11 terrorism-related prosecutions and convictions of Muslims.
How to Use the Database:
Click HERE and just click "Guest Account" and click the "Log-in" button to view all records in the database. You will be able to search and find specific cases.
Please, if you have any questions at all, email Lynne Jackson and she will email back as soon as possible (expect no more than one business day).
Inventing Terrorists: The Lawfare of Preemptive Prosecution by Project SALAM and National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms (NCPCF) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.