National Church Arson Task Force: Third Year Report for the President   [open pdf - 384KB]

In its third year, the Task Force has effectively integrated its work into existing federal law enforcement structures and taken steps to ensure that church arson prosecutions will be a permanent priority. The innovative and highly successful protocols and best practices for the joint investigation and prosecution of suspected church arsonists that were developed by the NCATF Operations Team have been integrated into the operations of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, the United States Attorneys' offices, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and have become a regular part of federal law enforcement efforts. Responsibility for federal prosecution of church arsons and bombings motivated by race and religion has been lodged in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, which has jurisdiction over these and other federal criminal civil rights cases. Regional offices of the Community Relations Service have assumed responsibility for the work of the CRS Church Burning Response Team to help heal community tensions resulting from church arson. At the same time, ATF and the FBI, in close partnership with state and local law enforcement, continue to investigate every arson, bombing, and attempted bombing at houses of worship in the United States. The Department of Housing and Urban Development continues to work with the National Council of Churches, the Congress of National Black Churches, leading financial institutions, and others to help victimized congregations rebuild.

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