The racialization of counterterrorism manifests in various ways that disproportionately harm Muslim communities in the United States. Since 2001, the federal government has brought at least 656 terrorism related cases against Muslim defendants in terrorism-related cases. Muslims of Middle Eastern, Black, Asian, and Latino heritage have all been targets of predatory sting operations and pretextual charges.

The charts below demonstrate how the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) manufacture ‘homegrown terrorism’ by ensnaring vulnerable Muslim men into fake terrorist plots led and implemented by government agents. If such efforts fail, law enforcement resorts to charging the Muslim targets with non-terrorism related charges such as making a false statement to a federal agent, immigration violations, and unlawful possession of a firearm.

For a deep dive into the historical, political, and legal context in which such racialized counterterrorism occurs, read Race, Entrapment and Manufacturing “Homegrown Terrorism” and State Sponsored Radicalization by Professor Sahar Aziz.