AP IMPACT: 35,000 worldwide convicted for terror

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Associated Press

Posted on September 4, 2011 at 4:01 AM

Updated Sunday, Sep 4 at 4:33 AM

An Associated Press tally has documented a global surge in prosecutions under new or toughened anti-terror laws with at least 35,000 people convicted as terrorists in the decade since the Sept. 11 attacks.

But while some bombed hotels or blew up buses, others were put behind bars for waving a political sign or blogging about a protest.

In the first tally ever done of global anti-terror arrests and convictions, the AP found that before 9/11, just a few hundred people were convicted of terrorism each year.

The sheer volume of convictions, along with almost 120,000 arrests, shows how a keen global awareness of terrorism has seeped into societies, and how the war against it is shifting to the courts.

But it also suggests that dozens of countries are using the fight against terrorism to curb dissent and imprison political opponents.

Some countries refused to provide information.

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