LII Backgrounder on Terrorism Law
...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; and appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.
Significant Terrorist Incidents since 1961 (U.S. Department of State: 2001)
Report on Foreign Terrorist Organizations (U.S. Department of State: 2001)
The Coordination of US Government Powers
The Executive Branch
- Post-September 11, 2001 Executive Orders dealing with
- Executive Order calling Reserves of Armed Forces to Active Duty - Sept. 14, 2001
- Executive Order Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism - Sept. 23, 2001
- Executive Order Establishing Office of Homeland Security - Oct. 8, 2001
- Executive Order on Citizen Preparedness in War on Terrorism - Nov. 9, 2001
- Military Order on Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism - (pdf) - Nov. 13, 2001: to try Taliban and Al-Queda detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba by Military Tribunals.
The Legislative Branch
U.S. Code dealing with Terrorism:
- Title 18, Part I, Chapter 113b - Terrorism
- Title 8, Chapter 12 - Immigration and Nationality Act
- Title 18, Part I, Chapter 2 - Aircraft and Motor Vehicles
- Title 18, Part I, Chapter 10 - Biological Weapons
- Title 18, Part I, Chapter 11b - Chemcial Weapons
- Title 18, Part II, Chapter 204 - Rewards for Information Concerning Terrorist Acts and Espionage
- Title 49, Subtitle VII, Part A - Air Commerce and Safety
- Title 50, Chapter 36 - Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Legislation related to the attacks of September 11, 2001 (Library of Congress)
- The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001 (HR 3162) was signed into law by President Bush on October 26, 2001. The USA PATRIOT Act increased the surveillance and investigative powers of law enforcement agencies to detect and deter acts of terrorism in the United States or against the United States' interests abroad. The Act was introduced and passed quickly, without a House, Senate, or conference report, which most likely contributed to the emergence of recent challenges to the act on civil liberty grounds.
- USA PATRIOT in PDF format
- USA PATRIOT in HTML with index headings (on the LOC Thomas server)
- USA PATRIOT in HTML (full)
- Reports from the Department of Justice's Inspector General on implementation of Section 1001 of the USA PATRIOT Act
- The Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act - H.R. 2926, November 19, 2001 - establishes the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) within the Department of Transportation responsible for security of all transportation.
- The Victims of Terrorism Tax Relief Act of 2001 - H.R. 2884, January 23, 2002 - provides tax relief for victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
- The Homeland Security Act of 2002 - H.R. 5005, November 25, 2002- establishes the Department of Homeland Security which consolidates 22 domestic agencies under Secretary Ridge.
Post September 11, 2001 Committees and Reports
- Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 - Congressional Report of December, 2002.
- National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States: An independent, bipartisan commission charged in 2002 with "a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including preparedness for and the immediate response to the attacks."
- The September 11 Detainees: A Review of the Treatment of Aliens Held on Immigration Charges in Connection with the Investigation of the September 11 Attacks - from the Department of Justice's Inspector General, June 2003.
The Judicial Branch
- Terrorism Cases
- Search Court Opinions
Ways to access material
References and Suggested Readings
- Federal materials
- Official sites
- Terrorism Resources