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US violent crimes, FISA warrants up in 2006: FBI official

[JURIST] FBI Assistant Director of Public Affairs John Miller [official profile] said Wednesday during an interview with C-SPAN that an FBI report expected to be released next week will detail a nationwide increase in murders, robberies and other violent crimes for a second straight year. Miller said the report will likely show "a continued uptick in violent crime, particularly among midsized American cities." Miller also told AP and the New York Daily News that 2,176 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) [JURIST news archive] search warrants were approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) [FJC backgrounder] in 2006, an increase from 1,754 in 2005. Miller said most of warrants were issued against search targets inside the United States, and attributed the increase to a "high tempo of terrorist activity." In April of last year, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) reported a record number of approved FISA warrants during 2005 [JURIST report]. The Bush administration has sought amendments to FISA, which it says is inflexible and unable to meet the threat of terrorism.

In December, the FBI's Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report [press release, PDF; JURIST report] found an increase of 3.7 percent in violent crimes, but a 2.6 percent decrease in property crimes such as burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. In 2005, the FBI's Annual Report on Violent Crime [text; JURIST report] found that violent crimes had increased for the first time since 2001 by 2.3%. AP has more. The New York Daily News has additional coverage.

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