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H.R. 401 (108th): Koby Mandell Act of 2003

The text of the bill below is as of Jan 28, 2003 (Introduced).


HR 401 IH

108th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 401

To create an office within the Department of Justice to undertake certain specific steps to ensure that all American citizens harmed by terrorism overseas receive equal treatment by the United States government regardless of the terrorists’ country of origin or residence, and to ensure that all terrorists involved in such attacks are pursued, prosecuted, and punished with equal vigor, regardless of the terrorists’ country of origin or residence.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 28, 2003

Mr. ANDREWS (for himself, Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN, Mr. WAXMAN, Mr. SOUDER, Mr. SCHROCK, Mr. SAXTON, and Mr. WILSON of South Carolina) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To create an office within the Department of Justice to undertake certain specific steps to ensure that all American citizens harmed by terrorism overseas receive equal treatment by the United States government regardless of the terrorists’ country of origin or residence, and to ensure that all terrorists involved in such attacks are pursued, prosecuted, and punished with equal vigor, regardless of the terrorists’ country of origin or residence.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Koby Mandell Act of 2003’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds the following:

      (1) Numerous American citizens have been murdered or maimed by terrorists around the world, including more than one hundred murdered since 1968 in terrorist attacks occurring in Israel or in territories administered by Israel or in territories administered by the Palestinian Authority.

      (2) Some American citizens who have been victims of terrorism overseas, especially those harmed by terrorists operating from areas administered by the Palestinian Authority, have not received from the United States Government services equal to those received by other such victims of overseas terrorism.

      (3) The United States Government has not devoted adequate efforts or resources to the apprehension of terrorists who have harmed American citizens overseas, particularly in cases involving terrorists operating from areas administered by the Palestinian Authority. Monetary rewards for information leading to the capture of terrorists overseas, which the government advertises in regions where the terrorists are believed to be hiding, have not been advertised in areas administered by the Palestinian Authority.

      (4) This situation is especially grave in the areas administered by the Palestinian Authority, because many terrorists involved in the murders of Americans are walking free there; some of these terrorists have been given positions in the Palestinian Authority security forces or other official Palestinian Authority agencies; and a number of schools, streets, and other public sites have been named in honor of terrorists who were involved in the murder of Americans.

      (5) To remedy these and related problems, an office should be established within the Department of Justice for the purpose of ensuring equally vigorous efforts to capture all terrorists who have harmed American citizens overseas and equal treatment for all American victims of overseas terrorism.

SEC. 3. ETABLISHMENT OF AN OFFICE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO UNDERTAKE SPECIFIC STEPS TO FACILITATE THE CAPTURE OF TERRORISTS WHO HAVE HARMED AMERICAN CITIZENS OVERSEAS AND TO ENSURE THAT ALL AMERICAN VICTIMS OF OVERSEAS TERRORISM ARE TREATED EQUALLY.

    The President shall establish within the Department of Justice an office (hereafter the ‘Office’) to carry out the following activities:

      (1) The Office shall assume responsibility for administration of the Rewards for Justice program and its web site, www.rewardsforjustice.com, and in so doing will ensure that--

        (A) rewards are offered to capture all terrorists involved in harming American citizens overseas, regardless of the terrorists’ country of origin or residence;

        (B) such rewards are prominently advertised in the mass media and public sites in all countries or regions where such terrorists reside;

        (C) the names and photographs and suspects in all such cases are included on the web site; and

        (D) the names of the specific organizations claiming responsibility for terrorist attacks mentioned on the site are included in the descriptions of those attacks.

      (2) The Office shall establish and administer a program which will provide notification for American victims of overseas terrorism or their immediate family to update them on the status of efforts to capture the terrorists who harmed them.

      (3) The Office shall assume responsibility for providing twice-annual reports to Congress as defined by section 805 of the Admiral James W. Nance and Meg Donovan Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2000 and 2001.

      (4) The Office shall work with the other United States government agencies to expand legal restrictions on the ability of murderers to reap profits from books or movies concerning their crimes--the ‘Son of Sam’ laws that currently exist in many States, so as to ensure that terrorists who harm American citizens overseas are unable to profit from book or movie sales in the United States.

      (5) The Office shall endeavor to determine if terrorists who have harmed American citizens overseas are serving in their local police or security forces. Whenever it is found that terrorists who have harmed American citizens overseas are serving in their local police or security forces, the Office shall alert those United States Government agencies involved in providing assistance, directly or indirectly, to those forces, and shall request of those agencies that all such assistance be halted until the aforementioned terrorists are removed from their positions.

      (6) The Office shall undertake a comprehensive assessment of the pattern of United States indictments and prosecution of terrorists who have harmed American citizens overseas, in order to determine the reasons for the absence of indictments of terrorists residing in some regions, such as the territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority. The Office’s assessment shall then be provided to the Attorney General, together with its recommendations.

      (7) The Office shall endeavor to monitor public actions by governments and regimes overseas pertaining to terrorists who have harmed American citizens, such as naming of schools, streets, or other public institutions or sites after such terrorists. In such instances, the Office shall encourage other United States Government agencies to halt their provision of assistance, directly or indirectly, to those institutions.

      (8) In instances in which specific organizations that claimed responsibility for acts of terrorism against Americans overseas subsequently became part of a governing regime with which the United States Government maintains diplomatic or other official contacts, such as the Palestinian Authority, the Office will initiate negotiations to secure appropriate financial compensation for American citizens, or the families of such citizens, who were harmed by those organizations’ terrorism.

      (9) In cases where terrorists who have harmed Americans overseas, and are subsequently released from incarceration abroad, are eligible for further prosecution in the United States, the Office shall coordinate with other government agencies to seek the transfer of those terrorists to the United States for further prosecution.

      (10) The Office shall strive to ensure that all terrorists who have harmed Americans overseas are treated by the United States Government as persona non grata, including, but not limited to, steps such as denying those individuals visas for entry to the United States; urging United States Government agencies to refrain from political and diplomatic contacts with those individuals; and instructing United States embassies and consulates to urge American visitors in those countries to refrain from patronizing businesses that are owned or operated by such individuals.

SEC. 4. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- There are authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2003 and subsequent fiscal years such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act.

    (b) AVAILABILITY- Amounts appropriated under subsection (a) are authorized to remain available until expended.