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H.R. 896 (104th): Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 10, 1995.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Title I: Substantive Criminal Law Enhancements Title II: Immigration Law Improvements Title III: Controls Over Terrorist Fund-Raising Title IV: Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives Title V: Nuclear Materials Title VI: Procedural and Technical Corrections and Improvements Title VII: Antiterrorism Assistance Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995 - Title I: Substantive Criminal Law Enhancements - Amends the Federal criminal code to establish penalties for acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries. Sets forth provisions regarding limits on prosecution, investigative responsibility, evidence, extraterritorial jurisdiction, the statute of limitations, detention, and wiretap authority. (Sec. 102) Sets penalties for conspiring to kill, kidnap, or maim people in (currently, limited to injuring property of) a foreign country. (Sec. 103) Makes penalties for an individual committing an offense on an aircraft in flight outside the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States applicable regardless of whether such individual is later found in the United States. Grants jurisdiction over such an offense if: (1) a U.S. national was or would have been on board the aircraft; (2) an offender is a U.S. national; or (3) an offender is found in the United States. Provides that if the victim of specified offenses is an internationally protected person outside the United States, the United States may exercise jurisdiction if: (1) the victim is a representative, officer, employee, or agent of the United States; (2) an offender is a U.S. national; or (3) an offender is found in the United States. Title II: Immigration Law Improvements - Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to establish procedures for the removal and expulsion of alien terrorists. Specifies that an alien subject to removal under these provisions shall have no right to discovery of information derived from electronic surveillance authorized for national security purposes, nor shall such alien have the right to seek the suppression of evidence. Authorizes the Government to use in removal proceedings the fruits of electronic surveillance, unconsented physical searches, or both, authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Sets forth provisions regarding the conduct of a special removal hearing. Specifies that each application shall require the approval of the Attorney General or the Deputy Attorney General based upon a finding that it satisfies specified criteria and requirements under this title. Sets forth provisions regarding the treatment of classified information, appeals, the right to counsel, standards of proof, the designation of judges, and deportation. Establishes penalties for reentry of an alien who was deported pursuant to this title. (Sec. 202) Revises INA provisions regarding the exclusion of an alien for terrorism activities. Considers an alien who is a representative of any terrorist organization designated by proclamation by the President as detrimental to the interest of the United States to be engaged in such activities. Defines: (1) "terrorist organization" to mean any organization engaged, or which has a significant subgroup engaged, in terrorism activity, regardless of any legitimate activities conducted by the organization or subgroups; and (2) "terrorism" to mean premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets. Limits the access of aliens to records, documents, and classified information under specified circumstances. (Sec. 203) Allows the Attorney General (and, in some cases, an employee or official of the Department of Justice or any bureau or agency thereof) to authorize an application to a Federal court of competent jurisdiction for, and allows a judge of such court to grant, an order authorizing disclosure of information contained in an alien's application for adjustment of status for: (1) identification of an alien believed to have been killed or severely incapacitated; or (2) criminal law enforcement purposes against the alien if the alleged criminal activity occurred after the legalization application was filed and such activity poses an immediate risk to life or national security or would be prosecutable as an aggravated felony, without regard to the length of sentence that could be imposed on the applicant. Title III: Controls Over Terrorist Fund-Raising - Amends the Federal criminal code to authorize the President to regulate or prohibit within the United States or by any person subject to U.S. jurisdiction: (1) fund-raising or the provision of funds for use by or for the benefit of any foreign organization that the President has designated as being engaged in terrorism activities; or (2) financial transactions with any such foreign organization. Permits the President to revoke such designation, in whole or in part, when conditions so warrant. Makes any finding made in such designation that a foreign organization engages in terrorism activity conclusive. Prohibits any person within, or subject to the jurisdiction of, the United States: (1) from raising, receiving, or collecting funds on behalf of, or providing funds to or for, an organization or person so designated; and (2) acting for or on behalf of any organization or person so designated, from transferring or disposing of any funds in which such organization or person has an interest. Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to publish regulations setting forth the procedures to be followed by persons seeking to raise or provide funds for an organization so designated. Requires any person within the United States or subject to its jurisdiction who seeks to solicit funds for or to transfer funds to any organization or person so designated to first obtain a license from the Secretary (and thereafter allows solicitation or transfer of funds to a designated organization or person only as permitted under the terms of a license issued by the Secretary). Directs the Secretary to grant a license only after the person establishes that: (1) the funds are intended to be used exclusively for religious, charitable, literary, or educational purposes; and (2) all recipient organizations in any fund-raising chain have effective procedures in place to ensure that the funds will be used exclusively for such purposes and will not be used to offset a transfer of funds for terrorist activity. Sets forth recordkeeping requirements. Requires any financial institution which becomes aware that it has possession of or control over any funds in which an organization or person so designated has an interest to retain possession of or maintain control over such funds and report to the Secretary the existence of such funds. Sets penalties for violations of this provision. Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) investigations; (2) recordkeeping and reporting requirements and civil procedures; (3) penalties; (4) injunctions; (5) extraterritorial jurisdiction; and (6) interlocutory appeals and the discovery and introduction of classified information in civil proceedings brought by the United States. Title IV: Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives - Marking of Plastic Explosives for Detection Act - Prohibits (with exceptions) the manufacture, importation, exportation, shipment, transport, transfer, receipt, or possession of any plastic explosive which does not contain a detection agent. Prohibits any person (other than a U.S. agency or the National Guard of any State) possessing any plastic explosive on the effective date of this Act from failing to report to the Secretary the quantity of such explosives possessed, the manufacturer or importer, any identification marks, and such other information as the Secretary may prescribe. (Sec. 405) Sets forth: (1) penalties for violations of this title; and (2) affirmative defenses. (Sec. 407) Directs the Attorney General to exercise authority over violations of this title only when they are committed by a member of a terrorist or revolutionary group (and, in such case, the Attorney General shall have primary investigative responsibility). Title V: Nuclear Materials - Amends the Federal criminal code to expand the scope of provisions regarding prohibited transactions involving nuclear materials (for example, to include nuclear byproduct material) and the jurisdictional bases (such as to cover a situation where an offender or a victim is a U.S. national or a U.S. corporation or other legal entity). Title VI: Procedural and Technical Corrections and Improvements - Amends the Federal criminal code to expand the provision regarding the use of weapons of mass destruction to cover threats to use such weapons. Subjects to the death penalty any U.S. national who, outside of the United States, uses or threatens, attempts, or conspires to use a weapon of mass destruction. (Sec. 603) Makes specified terrorist offenses predicates to a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. (Sec. 604) Adds terrorism offenses to the money laundering statute. (Sec. 605) Authorizes interceptions of communications in certain terrorism-related offenses. (Sec. 606) Revises provisions of the Federal criminal code to provide that there is U.S. jurisdiction over specified maritime violence: (1) regardless of whether the activity is prohibited by the State in which it takes place; and (2) committed by a U.S. national or by a stateless person whose habitual residence is in the United States regardless of whether the activity takes place on a ship flying the flag of a foreign country or outside the United States. (Sec. 607) Expands Federal jurisdiction over bomb threats. (Sec. 608) Increases the penalty for explosives-related conspiracies. (Sec. 609) Includes assaults, murders, and threats against former Federal officials on account of the performance of their official duties within the scope of provisions proscribing influencing, impeding, or retaliating against a Federal official by threatening or injuring a family member. (Sec. 610) Adds conspiracy to specified terrorism-related offenses. Title VII: Antiterrorism Assistance - Revises the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to: (1) authorize antiterrorism training services conducted outside the United States during a period of not more than 180 (currently, 30) days; and (2) require U.S. Government personnel authorized to advise foreign countries on antiterrorism matters to carry out their responsibilities within the United States when determined most effective or outside the United States for periods not to exceed 180 consecutive calendar days. Repeals a provision prohibiting funds made available for antiterrorism assistance from being used for personnel compensation or benefits.