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Laws and Terrorism

The nation's laws are intended to bring the guilty to justice and preserve the freedoms of the innocent. However, the laws do not always accomplish these goals effectively. Some laws are so poorly constructed that they provide latitude for the innocent to be convicted or the guilty to be set free. This paper provides a summary of a magazine article that suggests that one of the laws concerning terrorists is just such a flawed law.

An article in DecemberÆs Time, ôWhen Terror Charges Just Won't Stick, reveals the disadvantages of the 1996 criminal law ôthat makes it illegal to provide æmaterial supportÆ to designated terrorist groupsö (Padgett & Malloy, 2005, p. 47). The law, Public Law 104-132, ôauthorizes the secretary of state, in consultation with the Attorney General and secretary of treasury, to designate foreign terrorist organizationsö to criminalize ôthe provision of funds and other material support for the designated foreign terrorist organizations by persons within the United Statesö (ôNew Counterterrorism Law,ö 1997, Stipulations include that the organization must be a foreign terrorist organization, it must engage in terrorist activity as defined in section 212(a)(3)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the terrorist activity must threaten the security of United States nationals or the national security of the United States (ôNew Counterterrorism Law,ö 1997,

The article describes the case of pro-Palestinian professor Sami al-Arian, who was acquitted on eight counts of terrorism, in spite of proof that he had funneled thousands of dollars to Islamic Jihad figures, volunteered to run the groupÆs finances, and exhorted audiences at Palestinian gatherings to ôdamn the U.S. and Israel until deathö (Padgett & Malloy, 2005, p. 46). Al-Arian was confirmed to have praised terrorist acts, raised money for the families of suicide bombers, and advised Shallah ...

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Laws and Terrorism. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 19:56, September 24, 2020, from