- Define the terms material support or resources, training, military-type training, expert advice or assistance, critical infrastructure, and terrorist organization in relation to 18 United States Codes 2339, 2339B and 2339D
Anti-terrorist legislation under Title 18 U.S. Code in reference to “Mens Rea” pertains to a person with the intention or state of mind along with accompanying conduct by law describing the offense of supplying materials to terrorists. Under Title 18 aligned with Code(s) 2239 and 2339B “Mens Rea” specifically pertains to the act of a person charged as intentionally providing support to a terrorist group or terrorist materially including but not limited to finances and weapons.
The phrase “material support or resources” shall refer to any property or service, whether tangible or intangible, which shall comprise of currency or monetary instruments, financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safe houses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel and transportation, but does not include medicine or religious materials” (Cornell University Law School, 2013). The maximum term of imprisonment for the crime of providing material support is fifteen years. However, in the event that such act of providing material resources shall result to the death of any person, “the maximum term of imprisonment shall be increased to life imprisonment” (Cornell University Law School, 2013).
Ward (2008) states that the way the U.S. Code exists today leaves the effectiveness of the intentions of the legislation problematic. The problem arises with regard to the definition of culpability, as it pertains to judicial agreement, which has continued to be a contention on debates on the issue of the definition of culpability. The criticism of the law as it stands looks at the burden of proof on the courts in charging the defendant with culpability but importantly, convicting the defendant for such act (Ward, 2008, p. 474).
Further explanation and criticism of the legislation by Ward (2008) cites two specific occasions where Hamas received monies from the defendant in the United States and money laundering of Eastern European crime syndicates through the United States took place. In both cases, the defendants received lesser convictions of fraud and racketeering. Ward (2008) explains how the good intentions of Congress enacting legislation for counter terrorism activities as in the case of the said legislation the definition of culpability causes the lack of effectiveness in situations as described with the Hamas funding and the criminal money laundering lesser convictions (p. 475). In discussion, Ward (2008) looks at the need of Congress creating more specific guidelines for the definition of material support as criminal activities aligned with domestic terrorism.
- Describe the mens rea elements Title 18 United States Code in relation to 2339 and 2339B.
The “mens rea” aspect of this legislation targets the culpability of aiding terrorists in foreign lands, by broadening the scope of this law aimed at domestic terrorism the U.S. attorneys have significant tools aimed at terrorist cells who clearly have no recognizable connection to international groups of terrorists (Ward, 2008).
In addition, Ward (2008) looks at the inclusion of “mens rea” as applied to domestic groups hiding behind so-called legitimate fund raising activities amassing large amount of monies specifically for illegally supporting terrorism. “Like its foreign counterpart, a domestic material support statute survives constitutional scrutiny, as it imposes liability for conduct” and not for speech nor for association as clearinghouses for the accumulation of “supporting materials” as the Title 18 2339 law provides. Anti-terrorist legislation under Title 18 U.S. Code 2339 and 2339B in reference to “mens rea” pertains to a person with the intention or state of mind along with accompanying conduct by law describing the offense of supplying materials terrorists.
- Discuss the judicial review process that occurs when an organization challenges, in court, the designation of terrorist organization.
The process of designating a terrorist organization shall start with the Secretary of Justice, who shall make a decision and re-designation of a terrorist organizations after going through an exhaustive interagency review process where all evidence pertaining to the activity of the group, from classified to open sources shall be scrutinized (Haynes and Haynes, 2002, p. 44). The State Department shall work closely with the Department of Justice and the Treasury Department and the intelligence community by preparing a detailed administrative record, which provides a documentation of the terrorist activities of the designated terrorist organization. It shall be the duty of the Department of State to notify Congress within a period of seven (7) days before the publication of a terrorist organization (Haynes and Haynes, 2002). However, the designations shall be subject to judicial review in the event that the group shall challenge the designation before a federal court. On the part of the U.S. government, it shall defend the decision of the Secretary of the state by relying on the administrative records. These records are considered as classified information because they contain intelligence information gathered from reliable sources (Haynes and Haynes, 2002).
The duration of the terrorist designation shall last for two years and renewable. The law shall permit terrorist groups to be added at any time, after a final decision has been rendered by the Secretary of the State, who has sought the consultation of the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General (Haynes and Haynes, 2002). The Secretary of the State has the power to revoke the designations after finding reasonable grounds to do so, and after ample notice has been given to Congress of such revocation.
Cornell University Law School. (2013) Title 18 USC 2339. Retrieved from
Haynes, J. and Haynes, R. (2002). Personal Security and Terrorism Awareness. Lincoln: N.E.:
Ward, J. (2008). The Root of all Evil: Expanding Criminal Liability for Material Support to
Terror. Notre Dame Law Review. Retrieved from