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.


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.