TRAC Spotlight

TRAC Spotlight is a new kind of offering from TRAC, a supplemental service for obtaining additional information about the topic of one of our special reports, in this case the government's enforcement of the law against individuals it determined were terrorists or those who it believed should be charged with some crime because doing so might "prevent or disrupt potential or actual terrorist threats."

If you are already a TRACFED subscriber, just use the menu at left. If not, read on...

With the addition of Spotlight, there are now three distinct mechanisms for obtaining information that TRAC has obtained from the Justice Department and other agencies under the Freedom of Information Act about a subject of unique importance.

  1. Available on TRAC's free public site is a report and accompanying graphs and tables examining the government's enforcement response to the problems of terrorism and what it calls "anti-terrorism."

  2. Available on TRAC Spotlight are specially prepared but easily accessible lists for incoming matters classified as involving either terrorism or anti-terrorism for each of the federal judicial districts. These lists cover matters which individual U.S. attorneys have acted upon through either filing a prosecution or declining to prosecute. With Spotlight the lists can be obtained for one of two time periods -- either the two years before (594 matters) or the two years after 9/11/01 (3,555 matters). Note that the names of particular suspects and defendants have been withheld by the government and are not available. For a $10 online charge you get 20 TRAC Spotlight queries over a 20-day period. Click here to get TRAC Spotlight on Terrorism.

  3. Available on TRACFED, TRAC's full-service subscription site, are advanced tools that allow you to drill down to individual records or examine how the government has processed various sub-categories of terrorism and anti-terrorism matters. Data are organized there by the month and fiscal year of the action, in contrast to Spotlight which follows "cohorts" of cases over time. (Access to all TRAC Spotlight tools are also automatically included.) TRACFED, however, is not limited to terrorism enforcement. It provides very extensive information about all kinds of criminal and civil enforcement activities (white collar crime, official corruption, drugs, etc.), IRS administrative actions, and federal employees, including case-by-case information about individual federal judges and prosecutors. Click here to subscribe to TRACFED.

TRAC's terrorism special enforcement report focuses on how the government responded in the 24 months after 9/11/01 and how this effort compared to the two years before. TRAC Spotlight covers the same period. In TRACFED, enforcement trends can be examined from 1986 to September 30, 2003. This means that with some limitations you can examine critically important aspects of government criminal enforcement of terrorism matters from the prior administrations of President Reagan, President Bush and President Clinton through to September 30, 2003 the in administration of President George W. Bush.

The TRAC Spotlight tool provides an easy way to obtain district lists of terrorism and anti-terrorism matters for a two-year period before and after 9/11/01. To begin, using the pull down options, selected the desired district, the desired enforcement stage, the desired enforcement category and the desired time period and then click on "submit request."