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Forum Post: Please help us determine the actual, precise, specific legal definition of "terrorist"

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 22, 2012, 8:40 p.m. EST by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Please help us determine the actual, precise, specific legal definition of "terrorist".

The United States Code is supposedly the law of the land, and here is an online searchable version of same:

http://uscode.house.gov/search/criteria.shtml

I just searched it looking for the actual, precise, specific legal definition of the term "terrorist", and I couldn't find it. I found a definition for "terrorism" which relied on the definition of other terms which were not defined, so that didn't help much. And I'm no lawyer, but I know enough about the American system of, er uh, "justice", to know not to assume that the definition of "terrorist" has anything to do with the definition of "terrorism", which as I said relies on other terms which were not defined, so it was not defined.

Americans living in the post-NDAA Amerikan Reich need to know whether they are "terrorists" are not, don't you think? Please post what you find - not on the Web, but in the actual United States Code:

http://uscode.house.gov/search/criteria.shtml

42 Comments

42 Comments


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[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

The NDAA doesn't simply use the word "terrorist". That's a myth perpetuated by people who choose to believe that instead of reading the bill. The NDAA defines people covered by its provisions pretty precisely.

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

"The NDAA doesn't simply use the word 'terrorist'."

TRUE.

"The NDAA defines people covered by its provisions pretty precisely."

FALSE.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

(b) COVERED PERSONS.—A covered person under this section is any person as follows:

(1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.

(2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1540enr/pdf/BILLS-112hr1540enr.pdf

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

http://original.antiwar.com/mirra/2012/02/15/the-ndaa-and-the-militarization-of-america/

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

The example in that article to illustrate the supposed vagueness of the part of section 1021 that I quoted is a man who admitted to attending terrorist training camps, who met with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and "offered his services" to aid al-Qaeda, and who pleaded guilty of conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 2 years ago

Anyone who uses violence to make a political point and instill fear among the people.

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

Again, no help. As we said above, we are looking for the legal definition of "terrorist".

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 2 years ago

Oh, sorry.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

A terrorist is a person or group that uses violence or the threat of violence against the innocent masses for the crimes of the guilty few.

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

Again, no help. As we said above, we are looking for the legal definition of "terrorist".

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2367) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

Whatever the government wants them to be.

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

Again, no help. As we said above, we are looking for the legal definition of "terrorist".

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago
[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

Title 22 Section 2656f(d) defines "international terrorism", "terrorism", "terrorist group" and "terrorist sanctuary" but not "terrorist":

(d) Definitions As used in this section— (1) the term “international terrorism” means terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than 1 country; (2) the term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents; (3) the term “terrorist group” means any group practicing, or which has significant subgroups which practice, international terrorism; (4) the terms “territory” and “territory of the country” mean the land, waters, and airspace of the country; and (5) the terms “terrorist sanctuary” and “sanctuary” mean an area in the territory of the country— (A) that is used by a terrorist or terrorist organization— (i) to carry out terrorist activities, including training, fundraising, financing, and recruitment; or (ii) as a transit point; and (B) the government of which expressly consents to, or with knowledge, allows, tolerates, or disregards such use of its territory and is not subject to a determination under— (i) section 2405(j)(1)(A) of the Appendix to title 50; (ii) section 2371 (a) of this title; or (iii) section 2780 (d) of this title.

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

Title 8 Section 1182(a)(3)(B) defines "terrorist activity" but not "terrorist":

(iii) "Terrorist activity" defined As used in this chapter, the term "terrorist activity" means any activity which is unlawful under the laws of the place where it is committed (or which, if it had been committed in the United States, would be unlawful under the laws of the United States or any State) and which involves any of the following: (I) The highjacking or sabotage of any conveyance (including an aircraft, vessel, or vehicle). (II) The seizing or detaining, and threatening to kill, injure, or continue to detain, another individual in order to compel a third person (including a governmental organization) to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the individual seized or detained. (III) A violent attack upon an internationally protected person (as defined in section 1116(b)(4) of title 18) or upon the liberty of such a person. (IV) An assassination. (V) The use of any - (a) biological agent, chemical agent, or nuclear weapon or device, or (b) explosive, firearm, or other weapon or dangerous device (other than for mere personal monetary gain), with intent to endanger, directly or indirectly, the safety of one or more individuals or to cause substantial damage to property. (VI) A threat, attempt, or conspiracy to do any of the foregoing. (iv) "Engage in terrorist activity" defined As used in this chapter, the term "engage in terrorist activity" means, in an individual capacity or as a member of an organization - (I) to commit or to incite to commit, under circumstances indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily injury, a terrorist activity; (II) to prepare or plan a terrorist activity; (III) to gather information on potential targets for terrorist activity; (IV) to solicit funds or other things of value for - (aa) a terrorist activity; (bb) a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(I) or (vi)(II); or (cc) a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III), unless the solicitor can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the organization was a terrorist organization;

(V) to solicit any individual - (aa) to engage in conduct otherwise described in this subsection; (bb) for membership in a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(I) or (vi)(II); or (cc) for membership in a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III) unless the solicitor can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the organization was a terrorist organization; or

(VI) to commit an act that the actor knows, or reasonably should know, affords material support, including a safe house, transportation, communications, funds, transfer of funds or other material financial benefit, false documentation or identification, weapons (including chemical, biological, or radiological weapons), explosives, or training - (aa) for the commission of a terrorist activity; (bb) to any individual who the actor knows, or reasonably should know, has committed or plans to commit a terrorist activity; (cc) to a terrorist organization described in subclause (I) or (II) of clause (vi) or to any member of such an organization; or (dd) to a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III), or to any member of such an organization, unless the actor can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the actor did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the organization was a terrorist organization. (v) "Representative" defined As used in this paragraph, the term "representative" includes an officer, official, or spokesman of an organization, and any person who directs, counsels, commands, or induces an organization or its members to engage in terrorist activity. (vi) "Terrorist organization" defined As used in this section, the term "terrorist organization" means an organization - (I) designated under section 1189 of this title; (II) otherwise designated, upon publication in the Federal Register, by the Secretary of State in consultation with or upon the request of the Attorney General or the Secretary of Homeland Security, as a terrorist organization, after finding that the organization engages in the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv); or (III) that is a group of two or more individuals, whether organized or not, which engages in, or has a subgroup which engages in, the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv).

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

Title 18 Section 2331 defines "international terrorism" and "domestic terrorism" [READ CLOSELY] but not "terrorist":

As used in this chapter— (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; (2) the term “national of the United States” has the meaning given such term in section 101(a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act; (3) the term “person” means any individual or entity capable of holding a legal or beneficial interest in property; (4) the term “act of war” means any act occurring in the course of— (A) declared war; (B) armed conflict, whether or not war has been declared, between two or more nations; or (C) armed conflict between military forces of any origin; and (5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that— (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws 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 within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

very simple.... a "terrorist" is anyone who will indiscriminately harm civilians in the effort to force submission through terror

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

That's no help. Please help us find the the actual, precise, specific legal definition of the term "terrorist" - not in arbitrary Web references, but in the actual United States Code:

http://uscode.house.gov/search/criteria.shtml

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Dont bother. Its been happening since the beginning of time.

NY had a bomb go off in 1920.

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

"Don't bother" doesn't answer the question.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

there isnt an answer. You want a static def to a dynamic trait. CAnt happen.

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

Incorrect. We found hundreds of references to "terrorist" or "terrorists" in the United States Code, but so far no place where "terrorist" or "terrorists" is defined. If the word is part of the law - which it is - then by law it must have a legal meaning. What is it, and where is it found in the code?

http://uscode.house.gov/search/criteria.shtml

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

A legal definition will never exist in the US because too often some of our leaders military exploits fit the term terrorist. Dresden firebombing, Nagasaki and Hiroshima atomic blasts, Afghanistan and Iraq wars, ad infinitim.

[-] 1 points by jkenneydaniel (9) 2 years ago

You don't need to concern yourself with understanding the definition of terrorist, as the Patriot Act and the NDAA label even "those who are thought to be working against the United States" as people who are associated with terrorists, and therefor fall under those laws.

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

Disagree. Please help us find the the actual, precise, specific legal definition of the term "terrorist" - not on the Web, but in the actual United States Code:

http://uscode.house.gov/search/criteria.shtml

[-] 2 points by jkenneydaniel (9) 2 years ago

Whether or not you're label a terrorist, you're still affected by the NDAA and Patriot Act if you're believed to be working against the United States in any way.

You can find the definition of terrorist in U.S. code here: U.S. Code Title 22, Ch.38, Para. 2656f(d)

However it has no effect on the definitions presented in either the NDAA or the Patriot Act. Therefor, while it is worthwhile to understand the definition in the sense that we as the people of this great country understand what the real definition is, it no longer relates to us.

Your post states Americans need to know whether they are "terrorists" in a post NDAA American "reich". Under the NDAA, if an American Citizen so much as voices discontent with the "American Reich", they can be labeled as a terrorist.

The Department of Defense labels protesting as a "low-level form of terrorism". The definition of terrorist has become a gaping gray area ever since the Patriot Act.

Understanding the definition of "terrorist" based on U.S. Code is not going to give Americans the proper answer when questioning whether they are "terrorists" or not.

[-] 1 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

You said:

"You can find the definition of terrorist in U.S. code here: U.S. Code Title 22, Ch.38, Para. 2656f(d)"

I say:

Here it is, and NO, it does NOT define "terrorist":

(d) Definitions As used in this section - (1) the term "international terrorism" means terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than 1 country; (2) the term "terrorism" means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents; (3) the term "terrorist group" means any group practicing, or which has significant subgroups which practice, international terrorism; (4) the terms "territory" and "territory of the country" mean the land, waters, and airspace of the country; and (5) the terms "terrorist sanctuary" and "sanctuary" mean an area in the territory of the country - (A) that is used by a terrorist or terrorist organization - (i) to carry out terrorist activities, including training, fundraising, financing, and recruitment; or (ii) as a transit point; and (B) the government of which expressly consents to, or with knowledge, allows, tolerates, or disregards such use of its territory and is not subject to a determination under - (i) section 2405(j)(1)(A) of the Appendix to title 50; (ii) section 2371(a) of this title; or (iii) section 2780(d) of this title.

[-] 1 points by jkenneydaniel (9) 2 years ago

That is the closest definition you will find in the U.S. Code, and as I've stated, it's completely irrelevant, why do you demand the definition of a dynamic term that even if it were defined in U.S. Code has absolutely no effect on any persons life in this country anymore, thanks to both the Patriot Act and NDAA.

Do you care to explain why you feel it's so important to find a definition for a word that is not only dynamic, but intentionally loosely defined?

Also, why is it that the definition of the word terrorist is so important, yet you don't even have to be labeled as a terrorist to be indefinitely detained under the NDAA, you simply have to be suspected of working against the United States.

I think that answers your question...

In a post-NDAA era, Americans are not directly labeled terrorists under the NDAA, and do not have to be. The reason this matters, is because they can still be detained indefinitely; with or without the terrorist label.

Now the consequences of both terrorist and "working against the United States" are the same.

Does it really matter what the definition of terrorism is anymore when you yourself could be detained under NDAA not as a terrorist, but for simply contributing on this blog.

In fact, before the NDAA ever even passed, Ron Paul supporters were being labeled as terrorists by Homeland Security. Once everyone found out, people got into a huge uproar over it, because they started to classify more and more people as possible terrorists.

They eventually gave that up, but not much later the NDAA was introduced, and signed into law, expanding the ability of the government to indefinitely detain American Citizens with no due process. Though this was somewhat possible under the Patriot Act, it wasn't as open as saying "suspected", not proven to be working against the United States.

I think your request to find the definition of terrorist is a little pointless, why not pass on the knowledge that you don't have to be labeled a terrorist to be indefinitely detained.

P.s: I'm not trying to offend you in any way or troll, I just want to understand why you're hell bent on the definition of terrorist.

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

Are you saying that you are a qualified attorney and that you know for a fact the word "terrorist" is referenced hundreds of times in the United States Code but never defined? Or are you a layman stating simply you were unable to find that definition using this search function?

http://uscode.house.gov/search/criteria.shtml

[-] 1 points by jkenneydaniel (9) 2 years ago

I am not a qualified attorney, however politics is not only my passion, but it's my life. To say that I need to be a lawyer to understand the U.S. Code is kind of insulting. There is no definition of terrorist in the U.S. Code, only of terrorism.

If you knew this, you wouldn't be tasking people with something ludicrous, instead you'd be providing them useful information.

Do you know for a fact terrorist is defined in the U.S. Code? I don't think you do...

Edit: Also, not once have I said I am an attorney.

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

Why would I ask where it was if I already knew? I couldn't find it. You couldn't find it. Perhaps someone else will. Please keep searching, folks:

http://uscode.house.gov/search/criteria.shtml

[-] 1 points by jkenneydaniel (9) 2 years ago

It's not that I couldn't find it... It doesn't exist. Period. There is absolutely no definition of terrorist anywhere in the U.S. Code......

You should be focusing on the definition provided by the US National Counterterrorism Center which is based mostly on the paragraph I provided. It labels a terrorist act as "premeditated; perpetrated by a sub-national or clandestine agent; politically motivated, potentially including religious, philosophical, or culturally symbolic motivations; violent; and perpetrated against a noncombatant target"

In this case, terrorist would be "sub-national or clandestine agent", loosely associated of course.

Other than that, you will not find a definition of the word "terrorist" any where in the U.S. Code.

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

Thanks for trying. At least that proves two reasonably intelligent people were unable to find the legal definition of the word "terrorist" anywhere in the U.S. Code, even though that word appears in the Code over 400 times.

[-] 1 points by jkenneydaniel (9) 2 years ago

They were possibly relying on the definition of terrorist that you can find from Merriam-Webster. I personally feel they were, and to broaden the scope to include anything against the establishment, as essentially terrorism.

They realize the people are becoming more and more informed, and they know that soon the American people will see the elections are a fraud, and the turmoil we face as not only a nation, but as a people across this entire globe, is man-made, and facilitated by our governments.

They don't want to lose their grip of control over everyone, not just here in the states, but everywhere. Sometimes I wonder if the reason Cuba, China, and Russia have the forms of government they do, because they realize the people cannot govern themselves. As we see now, today.

[-] 1 points by Riley2011 (110) from New Britain, CT 2 years ago

Very insightful and straight forward post I love what America once stood for Now you can't even keep up with new legislation

[-] 1 points by jkenneydaniel (9) 2 years ago

I too love what our country once stood for. I love it so much in fact, I have both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution framed hanging in my living room.

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

So, did you find the legal definition of "terrorist"?

[-] 1 points by jkenneydaniel (9) 2 years ago

A legal definition of the word terrorist does not exist in the U.S. Code besides the loosely associated paragraph I provided, which defines terrorism. I'm pretty sure a person associated with the defined act of terrorism would be labeled a .... terrorist.

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

Are you saying that you are a qualified attorney and that you know for a fact the word "terrorist" is referenced hundreds of times in the United States Code but never defined? Or are you a layman stating simply you were unable to find that definition using this search function?

http://uscode.house.gov/search/criteria.shtml

[-] 0 points by ironboltbruce (371) from Miami, FL 2 years ago

So, did you find the legal definition of "terrorist"?

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