War on Terrorism (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
Terrorist acts and the threat of TERRORISM have occupied the various law enforcement agencies in the U.S. government for many years. The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, as amended by the USA PATRIOT ACT and codified at 18 U.S.C. section 2339B, makes it a crime punishable to up to 15 years in prison to provide material support or resources to any organization designated by the SECRETARY OF STATE as a foreign terrorist organization. Individuals suspected of acts of terrorism are arrested and tried under existing federal or state criminal laws. On September 11, 2001, 19 men hijacked four commercial airplanes. Two were deliberately crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, one was deliberately crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the fourth crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania, presumably on its way to a fourth symbolic target: the White House or the U.S. Capitol Building. Strong evidence suggested that a Saudi Arabian citizen living in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, was behind the attacks. As of 2003 bin Laden was the head of a terrorist organization known as al Qaeda (Arabic for "the base").
It would be difficult to overstate the magnitude of the simultaneous attacks and their psychological impact on the collective psyche of U.S. citizens. The SEPTEMBER 11TH ATTACKS instantly vaulted international terrorism and national...
(The entire section is 1612 words.)
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