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Legislative Initiatives to Curb Domestic and International Terrorism - Hearings Before the Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism on S 2470, S 2623, S 2624, S 2625, S 2626, June 5, 6, and 13, 1984

NCJ Number
Date Published
198 pages
The hearings examined five legislative proposals addressing the growing problem of international and domestic terrorism: S. 2623, S. 2624, S. 2625, S. 2626, and S. 2470. These bills implement treaties against terrorism, provide reward monies for information, make it a Federal offense to give material support to terrorists, and authorize FBI assistance in screening nuclear power plant employees.
A panel of witnesses from the Department of Justice explained S. 2623 and S. 2624 which implement the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Civil Aviation and the International Convention Against the Taking of Hostages, respectively. They also discussed S. 2625 which provides rewards for information, such as the location of command centers or safehouses, on terrorists. Considerable discussion focused on the controversial S. 2626 which criminalizes the act of providing training, mechanical, logistical, or maintenance services to a terrorist group. Questions from committee members concerned the actual numbers of terrorist incidents in the United States or directed at U.S. property and citizens and the broad scope of S. 2626. On the next day, witnesses from the Department of State supported the bills, particularly S. 2626. Representatives from the airline industry and the Airline Pilots Association endorsed S. 2623. Testimony from the American Civil Liberties Union did not oppose the intent of S. 2626, but emphasized that the language was too broad. The final day concentrated on S. 2470, the Anti-Nuclear Terrorism Act, which was intended to grant nuclear power reactor licensees access to the FBI's criminal history files for employee screening purposes. A panel from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission supported the bill, as did three representatives from private utility companies. Witnesses' prepared statements and texts of the bills are supplied.