Intelligence Law Glossary - International Terrorism [HTML-Only]


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International Terrorism

Statutory Law

18 U.S.C. § 2331(1) (2010) (Title 18—Chapter 113B: Terrorism)

As used in this chapter [18 U.S.C. §§ 2331 et seq.] —
   (1) the term "international terrorism" means activities that—
      (A) involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;
      (B) appear to be intended—
         (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
         (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
         (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping; and
      (C) occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum;

50 U.S.C. § 1801(c) (2010) (Title 50—Chapter 36: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance—Subchapter A: Electronic Surveillance)

“International terrorism” means activities that—(1) involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or any State; (2) appear to be intended—(A) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (B) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (C) to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping; and (3) occur totally outside the United States or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to coerce or intimidate, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.

Administrative Law

The Attorney General’s Guidelines for Domestic FBI Operations § VII (J) (Sept. 29, 2008)

Activities that:

  1. involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal, state, local, or tribal criminal law or would violate such law if committed within the United States or a state, local, or tribal jurisdiction;
  2. appear to be intended:
    1. to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
    2. to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
    3. to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping; and
  3. occur totally outside the United States, or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear to be intended to coerce or intimidate, or the locale in whch their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.