Attorney General Michael Mukasey warned Friday that the huge profits generated from piracy and counterfeiting are fostering terrorism.
Terror groups are taking their cues from organized crime and funding their operations with money they make committing intellectual property crimes, he told a gathering of Silicon Valley executives.
"Criminal syndicates, and in some cases even terrorist groups, view IP crime as a lucrative business and see it as a low-risk way to fund other activities," Mukasey said. "A primary goal of our IP enforcement mission is to show these criminals that they're wrong."
Mukasey, who did not elaborate and did not take questions, said his department is devoting increasing resources to prosecuting such crimes and filed 7 percent more IP cases in 2007 than in 2006 and 33 percent more than in 2005.
Before Friday's speech, Mukasey met privately with representatives from companies including Apple Inc. and Adobe Systems Inc.
A day earlier, the attorney general also met with entertainment industry executives in Los Angeles during his three-day California trip.