Terrorism: July 3, 2002

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US District Judge Robert M Takasugi (Los Angeles) has declared a 1996 anti-terrorism law unconstitutional. The law allows the government to declare an organization to be "terrorist" without any hearing, and then to begin prosecuting American residents and citizens who supported the organization. Takasugi says that this amounts to an extra-legislative law as the organizations cannot appeal the designation in court. The specific case is one against the National Council of Resistance, which raises money in the US, supposedly for humanitarian support of people suffering repression in Iran, and then spends the money to support military and guerrilla units based in Iraq. The 1996 law is the basis for some of the charges against American Taliban John Walker Lindh. Rulings in District Courts do not affect cases in other districts until reviewed at the Appellate Court level.--Stephen V Cole

 

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