Understanding types of terrorism offenses

Like many Arizona residents, you have no doubt heard, seen or read reports of alleged terrorist acts in the state, around the country or in other parts of the world. Just what exactly might be considered to be a terrorist act?

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there are different types of terrorism offenses. For starters, there may be acts deemed to be domestic terrorism and acts deemed to be international terrorism. The jurisdiction of the acts constitutes the primary differences between these two. For an act to be alleged as domestic terrorism, it must take place predominately within the jurisdiction of the United States. Acts that take place primarily outside of the nation’s jurisdiction may be classified as international terrorism.

In both cases, the alleged attempt to influence governmental policy or actions by coercion, intimidation or violent acts that result in widespread destruction may result in terrorism charges. So too may acts that may be said to have been taken in an effort to coerce or intimidate civilians may be considered as terrorism. A federal crime of terrorism may involve the attempt at killing or actual killing of a government employee or law enforcement officer. These acts may happen during attacks at designated federal facilities or elsewhere and still lead to federal crime of terrorism charges. 

If you would like to learn more about the types of crimes that may be considered to be alleged terrorist acts, please feel free to visit the violent acts page of our Arizona criminal defense website.