On January 19, 2018, the Brennan Center for Justice submitted a Freedom of Information Act request seeking records about public/unsealed international terrorism and terrorism-related convictions from September 11, 2001, through December 31, 2016.
The National Security Division of the Department of Justice maintains a chart of public/unsealed international terrorism and terrorism related convictions since September 11, 2001, which has been publicly released annually for the last seven years. However, the most recent available data does not include information on the number of convictions between December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2016.
On January 16, 2018, the DOJ and DHS released a report titled “Executive Order 13780: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States Initial Section 11 Report.” The report cites to an updated version of the DOJ chart, current through the end of 2016. It then breaks down the list of 549 individuals by citizenship status, providing examples of relevant cases. The Trump administration has also cited this same data to support new immigration restrictions, including an end to the visa lottery program and limits on immigrants’ ability to bring extended family members to the U.S.
The Brennan Center is seeking a copy of the updated DOJ chart. It is crucial that this data be released to the public to provide additional context for recent official statements and policies that so tangibly affect the public interest.