A Research Guide to Cases and Materials on Terrorism

By Andrew Grossman

Andrew Grossman is a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer who served in Seoul, Abidjan, London, Tehran, Algiers, and Geneva. He holds the degrees of B.A. in Economics (Clark), LL.B. (Columbia), M.A. in L.I.S. (University College London) and of Licencié en droit européen et international, Maître & Docteur en droit (Louvain-la-Neuve) and is a member of the New York Bar. He lives in London, where he writes on private international law issues, especially in the fields of nationality and tax. Among his publications are Conflict of Laws in the Discharge of Debts in Bankruptcy, 5 Int’l Insolvency Rev. 1 (1996), Nationality and the Unrecognised State, 50 Int’l & Comp. L.Q. 849 (2001), Birthright citizenship as nationality of convenience, Proceedings, Council of Europe, Third Conference on Nationality, Strasbourg, Oct. 11-12, 2004; “Islamic land”: Group Rights, National Identity and Law, 3 UCLA J. Islamic & Near E.L. 53 (2004). His previous work in this series includes Finding the Law: the Micro-States and Small Jurisdictions of Europe and FATCA: Citizenship-Based Taxation, Foreign Asset Reporting Requirements and American Citizens Abroad.

Published July/August 2022

(Previously updated in September/October 2017)

See the Archive Version!

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

A bibliographic survey of the law relating to terrorism — even one that tries to avoid advocacy and argument, and perhaps even more so on account of that — exposes its author to criticism more than anything over definition and criteria for inclusion. Terrorism itself is a moving target: laws addressing it written by a fearful Establishment, its history written by the victors. Terrorist acts can be undertaken for all sorts of reasons or, conceptually at least, for none at all other than to promote anarchy or to express hatred. A purely criminal undertaking (as in extortion) is the least likely to threaten the wider public. Such crime tends to be local or limited to particular ethnic groups and it is also the easiest to deal with. An exception might be made for cyber crime, which may be an act of state terrorism (Russia, Iran, North Korea) or one of criminal extortion. Another example of internal state terrorism is government-sponsored persecution and genocide: of Myanmar’s Rohingya, China’s Uigur. Terrorist acts commonly arise out of grievance and frustration, real or imagined: religious, political, economic, personal. Terrorism, or the threat of terrorism, can involve weapons of mass destruction, or it can consist of measures of murder and mayhem, repression and intimidation directed at individuals, at a group or class, or at all the inhabitants of a region or state. While a dozen or more sectors of the law are pertinent to terrorism — some as cause, some as effect, some as impediment and some as punishment — historically, no law has been more successful than the mere passage of time in bringing it to an end. Terrorism and its companion, civil unrest, either bring revolutionary change and are then sanctified in a new national myth,[1] or they fail and grievances either continue to fester or are overtaken by events.

It can come as no surprise that the political Establishment focuses on terrorism occurring at home or targeting our friends. When it is by elements of one friendly state against others of our friends (Irish republicans against British and Irish nationalists; ethnic Greeks and ethnic Turks; Orthodox Slavs and Catholic Slavs) one may perhaps side with the group most like oneself. As in Monty Python’s “The News for Parrots” a mishap may be seen as tragic only to the extent that it has an impact on ourselves, our group, our class. Motivation, expectation and allegiance may be such that there is no obvious solution: “justice” and “compromise” may prove mutually exclusive in a way ill understood by outsiders. Compromise and sacrifice may be unacceptable to those who, because they have wealth and prospects have the most to lose and also the most political influence.[2] If those charged with combating terrorism fail to appreciate the real limits of their power, or if use the notion of a “war against terrorism” chiefly as a political expedient, the situation they claim to defuse may instead be worsened. Most sovereignty, if one goes back in time far enough, derives from conquest: under modern notions of international law conquest does not afford good title to land, but how many decades or centuries back must one’s claim lie in order to be beyond repudiation? The application of legal norms — of the law — to terrorism is itself an expedient: and that is certainly true to the extent that the law’s actors are not there to “do justice” but rather “to play the game according to the rules”.[3] It is, however, of the essence of the rule of law that those ruled by it accept its decisions.[4]

One would do well to keep in mind the power of claims to vested interests and the ability of those who profit from them, however, indirectly to garner support, to delay change and to prolong iniquity. However, even an objectively fair offer in compromise may not put an end to facts and myths that draw support, active and tacit, for extremist solutions. There are few ethnic groups whose status and location are not the result of colonization, voluntary or forced movement and war. The treaties concluding the First World War, and the ensuing resettlements,[5] the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire,[6] and the creation of states and zones of influence, lie behind many recent European and Middle East conflicts. Whether such historical facts will stimulate and support terrorism many years later depends on the existence of a survivor class from among the losing side, of a historical record, of myths, and of a culture that will sustain anger and violent action.

Western Europe, the United States and what is known as the “Old Commonwealth” deem themselves, and are demanded by others, to be pluralistic nations. Mazzini‘s unity of nation and commonality of nationality commonality of language, territory, ethnicity, culture, religion and history would violate modern notion of human rights.[7] But, only in those developed nations target regions for migration by members of other cultures,[8] mainly family members of previous migrants. The result is a bouleversement of what used to be known as “allegiance”[9] (carried over into America and crystalized in the XIVth Amendment and discussed further below), and fears of a developing “fifth column”. We have, however, been there before: quite apart from lessons of the Indian wars and of the civil rights movement, the Sedition Act,[10] the language laws,[11] the German American Bund cases,[12] the Chinese exclusion,[13] Japanese internment,[14] expatriation,[15] and the Communist cases,[16] showed our fear of the “other” and our ability to postulate that this other threatened the well-being of the State. Civil and human rights to dissent, to associate, to sympathize with the enemy, real or perceived, have strengthened in the intervening years. The claim of the State to undivided loyalty of those who owe it “permanent”[17] and “temporary”[18] allegiance has weakened concomitantly.

The aim of “official” — i.e., sovereign, terrorism by those who have in law a monopoly of coercive force — is that of “shock and awe”: the intimidation of all others by “benign terror”. It is not clear that a modern, liberal state can accomplish this the way totalitarian and imperial rulers did and do still. One aim of private, political terrorism is to provoke officialdom to outrageous response and thereby to procure external support. Gandhian passive resistance may not be intended to provoke violent response;[19] but if it does, the State, or the Establishment, has lost: Mississippi Burning.[20] It may be assumed that public suicides, such as the 1981 Northern Irish death fasts,[21] the self-immolations,[22] suicide-murders in Vietnam,[23] as in Israel,[24] Iraq,[25] Afghanistan,[26] Europe,[27] and America,[28] have as their goal public unease and political destabilization. Mass random killings may aim to provoke disproportionate responses,[29] and gain perversely moral high ground. Once in power terrorists may become “statesmen”, be forgiven their crimes and can rewrite history books to make of themselves national heroes.[30] Victims may be marginalized, their private rights and interests subordinated to political and diplomatic expediency. The criminal law may be marginalized by pardon or by refusal to prosecute, as has happened min Northern Ireland. “Truth and reconciliation” through public witnessing happens only sometimes.[31] Old animosities and remembrances of terror may be revived as new myths to support revived rivalries and justify genocide, as happened in the course of the breakup of Yugoslavia. Or they may be denied, suppressed as a matter of official policy: Armenians and Kurds in Turkey; the civil unrest in Cyprus, 1960-1974. Past and present terrorism may be ignored by other states — allies and commercial partners of the perpetrators — when it suits their political and economic interests. Generations that follow the beneficiaries of past terrorism have vested interests that are not easily ignored: children do not, as a rule, inherit the debts of their ancestors, at least in Common-Law systems.[32] In short, the law is secondary to politics and to diplomacy, pragmatism and expedience. Our investigation of case law will, therefore, be less than fully satisfying: these cases concern, in fact, countries where terrorism is, put in geographic and demographic scale, not a genuine threat to the political, social or economic system. And that is true however much of a public shame and political issue it has become, however much disquiet it may have spawned. Compare, for example, the cost of natural disasters and human error or negligence: the tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and Chernobyl.

The point of this survey is not so much to list sources — many of these could be found with a search engine and legal database. others by using some of the better bibliographic sites listed here. It is rather to provide some assistance in planning research and in formulating issues to address — to examine the range of issues and provide links, first to sources that are considered reliable and unbiased, then to specimen law cases,[33] to scholarly articles and, finally, to opinions and arguments not otherwise adumbrated which, even if they are in support of a particular agenda are coherent, plausible and forthright in their advocacy or apologia. Collected here are many of the major court cases involving terrorism and terrorists of the modern era, as well as a sampling of issues related to terrorism.

Whatever the researcher’s focus, he or she might well begin by reading the Grotius lecture delivered at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law on November 13, 2003 by Judge Gilbert Guillaume, entitled “Terrorism and International Law”.

Because of the relatively short life of many Web sites and links and the limited access to Anglo-American case law by students and researchers in other areas of the world, all the cases cited and many of the articles listed have been archived and should be accessible for some years. Many cases cited within those archived have also been archived and are linked. If access to an outside link is broken readers should try accessing them at archive.org or searching for the document by title and document name in a search engine such as Google Scholar. JSTOR,[34] which includes many law reviews and law-related journals, can be accessed at most university libraries and many public libraries, sometimes from home. HeinOnline, Westlaw and LexisNexis can be accessed by eligible users at law libraries in the USA and other countries, and LexisNexis Academic at most major U.S. university libraries.

2. Defining Terrorism

Defining “terrorism” (Generally in date order, except foreign sources are at end of list)

3. Particular Aspects of Counter-Terrorism Activity

4. Domestic Terrorism

5. Other Jurisdictions: Recent Headline Terrorism Cases and Issues

6. General Sources of Information: Comprehensive Sites, Archives, Lists

6.1. International Organizations

6.2. NGOs, Private Research Organizations, Universities

6.3. Specialized Journals

6.4. Law Journal Articles

6.5. Other Databases, Bibliographies

6.6. Government-Sponsored Sites

6.7. Selected Relevant Newspaper Articles

See in this context 1951 Refugee Convention, article 1F:

“The provisions of this Convention shall not apply to any person with respect to whom there are serious reasons for considering that:
(a) he has committed a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity, as defined in the international instruments drawn up to make provision in respect of such crimes;
(b) he has committed a serious non-political crime outside the country of refuge prior to his admission to that country as a refugee;
(c) he has been guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”

and UNHCR, Note on the Exclusion Clauses EC/47/SC/CRP.29 (1997)

6.8. Psychology

6.9. Geography

7. Relevant Aspects of Law

7.1. Criminal (Penal) Law

It is not the aim to set out here all the possible crimes that may be charged in connection with a terrorist act, plot or campaign especially since new laws are being enacted in response to new outrages and so any such effort would be chasing a moving target. Existing law addresses arson, sabotage, murder and attempted murder, genocide, civil rights offenses, weapons offenses, conspiracy. New laws cover membership in and aid to scheduled organizations, but the list of such organizations is subject to administrative change and for the accused to prove termination of involvement with a newly listed entity may be difficult. Recent cases address (in the USA) “support for terrorism or terrorist organizations” and (in Europe) “glorifying terrorism“.

The full text of published opinions in some major U.S. prosecutions may be accessed below. Within each opinion there are further links where judgments in cited cases are available online. Additional cases have been included below either for their notoriety or for their explanatory value. Sections that follow address legal issues peripheral to terrorism. Most of the case law here is from the USA the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The researcher may want to search the European Court of Human Rights database and some of the country-specific sites listed below. Some non-US jurisprudence can be examined indirectly by looking at the US, U.K. and Canadian cases appearing in the sections on extradition and on refugee law.

Terrorism tends to be cyclical. Researchers will do well to start with the early sedition acts and review the concept of allegiance as it has changed over two centuries. For the USA, the obligations of allegiance are, besides loyalty: payment of taxes, fulfillment of military service upon conscription, and provision of information upon subpoena.[38]

7.2. Case Law: Selected Opinions

7.3. Other Illustrative U.K. Cases

  • Leicester City Council v T, [2016] EWFC 20 (care orders in relation to three children where mother intended to travel to Syria after contact with jihadists)
  • Secretary of State for the Home Department v GG, [2016] EWHC 1193 (Admin) (G had been arrested in 2005 for terrorism offences. No evidence justifying prosecution was found and he was released, but a control order was made against him.)
  • S1 v Secretary of State for the Home Department, [2016] EWCA Civ 560 (Deprivation of citizenship) — On annulment of nationality even of British-born citizens, see Haroon Siddique, New bill quietly gives powers to remove British citizenship without notice, Guardian, Nov. 17, 2021.
  • Secretary of State for the Home Department v E3, [2019] EWCA Civ 2020 (“once the secretary of state had demonstrated that he was satisfied that the deprivation order would not render the individual stateless, the burden of proving that the individual would be rendered stateless by the deprivation order was on the individual”)
  • ZZ (France) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, [2014] EWCA Civ 7 (EU citizen refused admission to U.K.)
  • R. v. Ali Harbi Ali, Central Crim. Ct., Apr. 11, 2022, Crown Prosecution Service Press release, Fiona Hamilton et al., Sir David Amess killer faces whole-life sentence for murder, Defendant also convicted of preparing acts of terrorism after targeting Michael Gove, The times (London) Apr. 12, 2022 (print version)

7.4. Previous Terrorist Cases, Reports

  • U.S. v. McNab, 331 F.3d 1228 (11th Cir. 2003) (criminal conviction in the U.S. based on a determination by the U.S. court that defendant violated a law of another country)
  • U.S. v. Miller, 26 F.Supp.2d 415 (N.D. N.Y. 1998) (Canadian customs and excise fraud; money laundering)
  • U.S. v. Pasquantino, 336 F.3d 321 (4th Cir. 2003, aff’d 544 U.S. 349 (2005) (Canadian customs and excise fraud, alcohol)
  • U.S. v. Trapilo, 130 F.3d 547 (2d Cir. 1997) (Canadian customs and excise fraud, tobacco)
  • Compare: U.S. v. Bean, 537 U.S. 7 (2002) (denial of firearms license based on Mexican conviction, reversing 253 F.3d 234 (5th Cir. 2001))

7.6. Books, Online Articles, and Other Materials

7.7. Selected Law Review Articles

7.8. Conflict with Freedom of Speech

7.9. Specific Instances of Terrorism

How terrorism issue can and will be dealt with is dependent upon political and diplomatic issues: whether the incident or movement represents a domestic threat or a threat to trade, investment or other vital national interests. Executive and legislative action may or may not be logical and proportionate. Terrorism that is far away and unlikely to impinge on domestic interests escapes the popular imagination,[39] whereas a single terrorist act close to home may unleash irrational fear and disproportionate response. Product tampering is a case in point:

Not far removed from this sort of terrorism is public panic over disease, however remote the actual danger of infection at the time: BSE, avian influenza, smallpox, anthrax. COVID-19 is different from the foregoing, at least today, at the time of writing. The political search for a scapegoat and a plausible solution are well illustrated by the anthrax cases; but these also demonstrate the propensity of the press to fan hysteria and, indeed, to spur the authorities to action that may be out of proportion to facts and to risk: Hatfill v. New York Times Co., 416 F.3d 320 (4th Cir. 2005). See also Pennekamp v. Florida, 328 U.S. 331 (1946) (reversing contempt conviction of newspaper editor and publisher following publication of editorials critical of the administration of justice in local courts; citing Campbell v. New York, 186 Misc. 586, 62 N.Y.S.2d 638 (Ct. Cl. 1946) as a quintessential miscarriage of justice case.). The recruitment of public fear and outrage seems to blur the meaning and significance of “reasonable doubt” and make miscarriage of justice more likely; once obtained, the fact that affirmance of a conviction serves to underpin the reputation and integrity of the legal system and the positions of those in power hinders serious consideration of justice.[40] In the United States, the assumption is that executive clemency can be used to resolve the tragedy of miscarriage of justice yet actual use of the pardon power may be capricious. Such a remedy is, however, made uncertain by the opposition of some prosecutors to the reopening of cases even for the examination of existing DNA evidence, and the obstacles standing in the way of clemency proceedings and to appeals.[41] On prosecutorial misconduct, see, e.g., Jerry Markon and Timothy Dwyer, Federal Witnesses Banned in 9/11 Trial, Washington Post, Mar. 15, 2006, p. A01.

It is both simplistic and dangerous to cite as the “root cause” of terrorism a single contemporary movement. Criticizing “liberals” for refusing to label “radical Islamic terrorism” as such a cause is unhelpful, according to diplomats and scholars, but it is fashionable among some politicians including Donald Trump. This is true if only because Political Islam has been distinguished from Islam as a religion.[42] Racial and ethnic profiling as such is anti-democratic, yet without being used as epithets or offending privacy or civil rights they are of obvious use in intelligence matters. Keywords have an obvious function in communications monitoring. What risk does right-wing populism, on the rise in many countries, have for legislation, prosecution and diplomatic response to terrorism? Terrorism, after all, takes many forms:

7.10. The Risk of Radiological Terrorism is Undiminished

7.11. Chemical Agents Used as Instruments of Terror



Some court judgements thus far on ricin-related incidents have bordered on the bizarre:

Acid, Corrosives, Biological

7.12. Membership in Proscribed Organization

Popular imagination, and the political establishment close behind, have on occasion given human and constitutional rights little priority when they perceive a threat to the status quo, to vested interests, or to society and the State. Aside from immigration, naturalization and deportation cases see:

Membership, or deemed membership, in specific subversive organizations has often had severe consequences under immigration law and, more recently, anti-terrorism law.

7.12.1. U.K. Cases

7.12.2. US Cases

  • Abrams v. U.S., 250 U.S. 616 (1919) (anarchists)
  • Pennsylvania v. Nelson, 350 U.S. 497 (1955) (supremacy of federal sedition act over state law)
  • Schneiderman v. U.S., 320 U.S. 118 (1943) (denaturalization of communist)
  • U.S. v. Baeker, 55 F.Supp. 403 (E.D. Mich. 1944) (German-American Bund)
  • People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran v. U.S. Dept. of State, 182 F.3d 17 (D.C. Cir. 1999) (designation as terrorist organization)
  • Rothstein v. UBS AG, 708 F.3d 82 (2d Cir. 2013) (bank’s supply of cash to Iran not a proximate cause of Hamas terrorism)
  • In re S-K, Respondent, 23 I&N Dec. 936 (BIA 2006) (denial of application for asylum)
  • 24 I&N Dec. 289 (BIA 2007)
  • 24 I&N Dec. 475 (BIA 2008)

7.13. Organized Crime

Political terrorists, such as the IRA and offshoots, and the Protestant militias of Northern Ireland, are addressed elsewhere. Nonpolitical criminal gangs are mentioned here for the sake of completeness. The kidnapping for ransom by terrorist and insurgent groups of individuals, especially foreigners (as in Iraq and Colombia), is scarcely new.

7.13.1. Specimen Cases Discussing Terrorism in the Context of Organized Crime

7.13.2. Documentary Materials

7.14. Crimes Against Foreign Missions and Internationally Protected Persons

Demonstrations, sometimes violent, against foreign missions, have been a mainstay of popular protests. It is said that the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979 was unexpected even by the demonstrators who succeeded in overrunning it.[43] There had been a similar demonstration only days before which had been diffused by the local police. Perhaps, like Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe when he overran the presidential palace in Monrovia on April 12, 1980,[44] their success was accidental, attributable to security errors and failings. As with many crimes, happenstance is a major element of terrorist “success”. It is easy for any government and any law enforcement agency to claim “progress” in combating terrorism because so many conspiracies fail or are diffused in the course of planning or in the early stages of execution and before even coming to official notice. Those that succeed can have unintended, or at least unexpected, consequences, no less than in the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914.[45] Cited below are a few notable documents and recent judgments regarding crimes on internationally protected persons. The Erdos case (below) and the 1974 kidnapping and death of U.S. vice consul John S. Patterson, for which Bobby Joe Keesee was convicted of conspiracy and served time in prison,[46] increased U.S. pressure for additional domestic and international legal protections for diplomatic and consular staff.

See also the case of the “November 17” Greek anarchist-terrorists who assassinated foreign diplomats.[47]

7.15. Transportation Security

8. Particular Human Rights Issues; Unintended Consequences

The tension found in the law of refugee status (see below) is also found here: whether a terrorist or a supporter of an organization that conducts terrorist activities should be granted rights that he or she would not allow to others. Taking this issue further is the question of the right of an entire people or nation to vote into office via a democratic election a government that scorns democracy and will violate of human rights, engage in state or state-sponsored terrorism, end democracy and perhaps install a theocratic state.[48] Past interference by foreign governments in the affairs of other countries, Iran and Chile for example, have not been happy ones. A few cases relevant to this issue appear on this page; the researcher may also want to review the International Court of Justice Web site.

The application of anti-terrorist law in situations not obviously considered by the legislature during its passage has a parallel in the wide-ranging use of RICO and tax evasion charges to combat not only organized crime but small-scale drug smuggling and evasion of foreign customs duty and excise taxes, discussed elsewhere on this page. Other current administrative and executive issues include the centralization of power in the Executive; eavesdropping on domestic, or partly domestic, communications; and “racial profiling” as a counter-terrorism law-enforcement tool. These issues may be researched in newspaper databases.

8.1. General

8.2. Law Review Articles

8.3. Signals Interception, Wiretaps, Cyber crime

8.4. Cryptocurrencies

8.5. Newspaper Articles

8.6. Wartime Issues – A Sampling of Articles and Sources

9. Extradition

It is an irony of refugee law that persecuted dissenters are entitled to protection both from the enemies and the friends of the state of refuge,[49] subject only to Art. 1(f) and 33 of the 1950 Refugee Convention.[50] The Doherty case and others involving prison escapees and Irish republicans wanted for violent crimes led to a revision of the U.S.-U.K. extradition treaty that sharply limited grounds for refusing extradition. This treaty, not yet ratified by the United States but effectively implemented by Britain, can have perverse results, as in the Bermingham, Mulgrew & Darby (“Natwest Three” Enron) case (indictment). There a decision by the British authorities not to prosecute the accused for their actions in the U.K. while employed by a U.K. Bank made them subject to extradition to the United States.[51] See also the Feb. 24, 2006 judgment in the Norris case, below.

9.1. Case Law – Selected Opinions

9.2. Doctrine of Specialty, Forbidding Trial for a Crime not Specified in the Extradition Documents

Also, see cases and documents cited and linked at U.S. v. Keesee, 121 F.3d 718 (9th Cir. 1997) (crimes for which defendant was not extradited may be considered in sentencing). On Bobby Joe Keesee, see:

On cross-border enforcement and extradition for tax offences (note that given certain facts tax offenses may be re-characterized as common-law fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, terrorism):

On new expedited, simplified extradition procedures:

Other materials

  • Antje C. Petersen, Extradition and the Political Offense Exception in the Suppression of Terrorism, 67 Ind. L. J., Iss. 3, Article 6 (1992)
  • Barbara A. Timmeney, International-Extraterritorial Jurisdiction-The Lockerbie Tragedy: Will Western Clout or International Convention Win the Extradition War?. 11 Penn St. Int’l L. Rev. 477 (1993)
  • Luis Benavides, The Universal Jurisdiction Principle: Nature and Scope, 1 Anuario Mexicano de Derecho Internacional 19 (2001) (another copy)
  • Alan Clarke, Terrorism, Extradition and the Death Penalty, 29 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 783 (2003)
  • Robert Verkaik, The Trials of Babar Ahmad: from Jihad in Bosnia to a US prison via Met brutality, Observer, March 19, 2016 (extradition of suspect to the USA when he could not be tried in the U.K.; payment to him by the Met Police in 2009 of damages)
  • DoJ Criminal Resource Manual, ¶ 1617. Extraterritorial Criminal Jurisdiction, 18 U.S.C. § 112, 878, 970, 1116, 1117 and 1201
  • Eain v. Wilkes, 641 F.2d 504, 61 A.L.R. Fed. 757 (7th Cir. 1981) (Extradition to Israel, membership in the Al Fatah branch of the Palestine Liberation Organization. “[I]ndiscriminate bombing of civilians [ ] not recognized as a protected political act.”)
  • United States v. Pitawanakwat, 120 F. Supp. 2d 921 (D. Ore. 2000) (Petitioner was “member of the insurgent group which defended the encampment to achieve a political end, namely sovereignty of native people over sacred tribal land. … [T]his court concludes that defendant’s crimes for which he was convicted and later paroled were ‘of a political character’ and therefore may not provide the basis for extradition of defendant to Canada. Extradition Treaty, Art. IV(1)(iii).” Comment: Petitioner, as an enrolled member of an Indigenous Canadian tribe or band, would be entitled to Jay Treaty relief from U.S. immigration restrictions.[52])
  • Nezirovic v. Holt, 990 F.Supp.2d 606 (W.D. Va. 2014) (Extradition Order authorizes Nezirovic’s extradition to Bosnia and Herzegovina (“Bosnia”) for alleged war crimes against civilians, occurring from April through June 1992 during the Bosnian War. Petitioner claims “alleged conduct pales in comparison to the war crimes committed by the Bosnian Serbs. The court categorically rejects this argument.” Political offense exception denied.
  • McAllister v. AG of the United States, 444 F.3d 178 (3d Cir. 2005) (Immigration law asylum case: BIA had found that petitioner Irish citizen removable because he had engaged in terrorist activities under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(4)(B) as member of Irish National Liberation Army.)
  • In re Atta, 1988 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6001, 1988 WL 6686 (E.D. N.Y. 1988) (“[T]his court concludes that Ahmad is the person whom Israel seeks, and that there is probable cause to believe that Ahmad committed the acts charged. However, at the time of the incident in question, there was a political uprising designed to change the composition of the government in the region and, the acts charged were incidental to that uprising and done in furtherance of the political objective of the PLO. Accordingly, Ahmad is protected by the political offense exception and cannot properly be extradited.”)
  • In re Requested Extradition of Joseph Patrick Thomas Doherty, 599 F.Supp. 270 (S.D. N.Y. 1984) (“The Government of the United Kingdom seeks Doherty’s extradition on the basis of his conviction in Northern Ireland on June 12, 1981 for murder, attempted murder, and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, and for offenses allegedly committed in the course of his escape from H.M. Prison, Crumlin Road, Belfast, on June 10, 1981. … The Court is not persuaded by the fact that the current political administration in the United States has strongly denounced terrorist acts and has stated that to refuse extradition in this case might jeopardize foreign relations. … [T]he Court concludes for the reasons given that respondent’s participation in the military ambush which resulted in Captain Westmacott’s death was an offense political in character. … The request for extradition is therefore denied.”). Similar: U.S. v. Smyth (In re Smyth), 61 F.3d 711 (9th Cir. 1995), In re Requested Extradition of Desmond Mackin, 1981 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17746 (S.D. N.Y.), on appeal, 668 F.2d 122 (2d Cir. 1981).

9.3. Extrajudicial Extraction – Kidnapping, Rendition

These are extraordinary cases, and their outcome seems to depend on diplomatic and political considerations, especially given the lack of legal redress under Ker, Frisbee and Alvarez-Machain (extrajudicial seizures) as well as cases denying Constitutional protection to aliens abroad. The case of U.S. citizen (and military deserter) Ronald Anderson illustrates this: his seizure and frog-marching into the USA from the Canadian side of the border was serendipitously (in the days before camcorders and smartphones) recorded on 8mm film and widely broadcast, generating Canadian pressure for his release.

9.4. U.S. Law Enforceable by the Courts is Represented by a Series of Cases

Compare the U.K. rule:

  • In re Schmidt, [1995] A.C. 339 and Reg. v. Horseferry Rd. Ct., Ex p. Bennett, [1994] 1 A.C. 42.
  • There it is a question of the degree of official misconduct that determines whether the court shall stay prosecution when normal extradition arrangements have been bypassed.

9.5. Treaty and Convention Issues

With respect to the USA convention matters concern chiefly the death penalty and US courts’ definition of “political crime”. The latter led to a more expansive extradition treaty with the U.K. that has allowed extradition to the US of persons indicted for actions performed in the U.K. with effects in the USA, in cases where the U.K. authorities have chosen not to prosecute.

9.6. European Arrest Warrant

9.7. European Court of Human Rights

9.8. United States

9.9. Canada, incl. Canadian Charter of Human Rights

  • Reference re Ng Extradition, [1991] 2 S.C.R. 858 (Assurances from U.S. authorities that death penalty will not be imposed)
  • U.S. v. Burns, [2001] 1 S.C.R. 283 (Assurances that death penalty would not be imposed)
  • United States of America v. Khadr, [2011] O.J. No. 2060, 2011 ONCA 358 (Appeal by the Attorney General of Canada on behalf of the USA from an order staying extradition proceedings against Khadr. The USA sought the extradition of Khadr, who was a Canadian citizen, to stand trial on terrorism-related charges. In October 2004, Pakistan’s federal intelligence service, ISI, had apprehended Khadr in Islamabad at the behest of the USA, which paid a $500,000 bounty for his arrest); previous order, [2010] O.J. No. 3301.
  • R. v. Khawaja, 2012 SCC 69, [2012] 3 S.C.R. 555 (Charged with seven offences under the Terrorism section of the Criminal Code. “After becoming obsessed with Osama Bin Laden and his cause, K communicated with an American who eventually pled guilty to providing material support or resources to Al Qaeda and with the leader of a terrorist cell based in London, England, who was convicted along with several co‑conspirators of a plot to bomb targets in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe.”) Ontario Court of Appeal judgment, 103 O.R. (3d) 321, 2010 ONCA 862. Numerous law journal articles at CANLII; 2010 Criminal Code amendments on sentencing, Bill C-54 (Legislative Summary).

9.10. United Kingdom

9.11. Other Cases

10. Status and Immigration Including Deportation Issues and Refugee Law

One may see in the current context of a “war on terror”[53] (as in past crises of “clear and present danger”[54]) not only preventive measures and new criminal sanctions but the tightening of public surveillance and of control of status. Thanks to the capabilities of modern computerization these changes may, unlike past wartime measures, be irreversible. It has been a hallmark of Common Law countries that citizens are not required to carry identity documents and need not register their addresses with the local authorities.[55] The parliamentary debate in Britain over the proposal to introduce national identity cards[56], and that in the United States over security in the issuance of driving licenses[57], a quasi-identity card[58], have highlighted the issue.

A further inevitable response to the terrorist threat from abroad is to tighten border controls and visa issuance, with unintended consequences for the innocent.[59] There may be a limit: member states of the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland are bound by treaty to allow unrestricted entry of nationals of other member states (except for reasons of national security, health and public policy, strictly construed).[60] The USA, Canada and Mexico have lesser mutual entry obligations under NAFTA. There may also be pressure to abrogate through legislation the grant of nationality by jus soli, birthright citizenship,[61] although the need for a constitutional amendment makes that a daunting proposition in the United States.[62]

Almost alone among human-rights oriented legal instruments and likely due to the factual context in which the Convention was conceived,[63] the Refugee Convention makes its protection (the grant of refugee status) dependent upon prior conduct compatible with the preservation of human rights and “the purposes and principles of the United Nations” (Refugee Convention, art. 1(f) and 33 (unworthiness)).

10.1. Documents

10.2. International Refugee ­Instruments

10.3. Newspaper Articles

10.4. Bibliography

10.5. Selected Law Review Articles

10.6. Case Law – Selected Opinions

  • A v Secretary of State for the Home Department, [2004] E.W.C.A. Civ. 1123, [2004] All E.R. (D) 62 (Aug.) (addresses the 1951 Refugee Convention art. 1(f) issue; also admissibility of confessions under torture)
  • In re M., [1994] 1 A.C. 377 (“[T]he argument that there is no power to enforce the law by injunction or contempt proceedings against a minister in his official capacity would, if upheld, establish the proposition that the executive obey the law as a matter of grace and not as a matter of necessity, a proposition which would reverse the result of the Civil War.”) And see Ian Ward, The Story of M: A Cautionary Tale from the United Kingdom, 6 Int’l J. Refugee L. 194 (1994)
  • R v Immigration Appeal Tribunal ex parte ‘B’, CO/1852/87, [1989] Imm. A.R. 166 (effect of political activity in host country on asylum claim; anti-Khomeini Iranian)
  • Secretary of State for the Home Department v. Rehman, [2001] U.K.H.L. 47, [2003] 1 A.C. 153 (deference to executive in matters of national security)
  • Bastanipour v. INS, 980 F.2d 1129 (7th Cir. 1992) (Iranian Christian convert)
  • Jean v. Nelson, 472 U.S. 846 (1985) (Haitian asylum seeker)
  • Kerry v. Din, 576 U.S. 86 (2015) (no right to review of denial on terrorism grounds of husband’s application for U.S. visa)
  • Shaughnessy v. Mezei, 345 U.S. 206 (1953) (stateless person)
  • U.S. ex rel. Knauff v. Shaughnessy,[64] 338 U.S. 537 (1950) (“Whatever the procedure authorized by Congress is, it is due process as far as an alien denied entry is concerned.”)
  • Ahani v. Canada, 7 Imm. L.R. (3d) 1, 77 C.R.R. (2d) 144 (F.C.A. 2000) (incarceration with view to deportation of former member of Iranian government agency engaging in terrorist activities)
  • Moumdjian v. Canada, 177 D.L.R. (4th) 192 (Armenian terrorist group)
  • Pushpanathan v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, [1998] 1 S.C.R. 982, 160 DLR (4th) 193 (drugs trafficker; asylum claimant; discussion of art. 1(f) issues)
  • Ward v. Attorney General of Canada, [1993] 2 S.C.R. 689 (IRA)
  • See also: extradition cases, above.

11. Charity, Foundation Issues

There are two separate issues here: entities that may or may not register as 501(c)(3) charitable and 501(d) religious organizations that support, directly or indirectly, terrorist activity abroad; and domestic extremist organizations that initiate and support violence or the threat of violence for political aims, typically anti-abortion, animal rights and environmental issues. Various Muslim charities have been before the courts in the recent past and some reported cases are included here; see also “money laundering” below.

11.1. Charities

11.2. “Animal Rights”, Eco-Terrorism, Quasi-Charity Terrorism

11.3. Anti-Abortion

  • National Organization for Women, Inc. v. Scheidler, 510 U.S. 249 (1994)
  • Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette Inc. v. American Coalition of Life Activists, 422 F.3d 949 (9th Cir. 2005)
  • U.S. v. Jordi, 418 F.3d 1212 (11th Cir. 2005) (enhancement of sentence)

12. Money Laundering and the Financial Support of Terrorism

“Money laundering” is an expansive term that may be attached to the handling of money in connection with any sort of offense. Much of the support of low-level terrorist activity in the Middle East, and the financing of the 9/11 attacks in the USA, has been financed by such crimes as small-scale credit card and check fraud and excise tax evasion (tobacco trafficking).[66] Money-laundering and, to a degree, tax evasion has sometimes been assimilated to terrorism. Indeed, anti-terrorism statutes and treaties have been applied in what appear to be purely financial crimes. The use of hawalas and other informal money-transfer systems, cross-border charities, opaque business and nonbusiness entities and lax banking controls (including within the United States) have served as enablers of terrorist finance.

12.1. Treaties

12.2. Case Law

12.3. Selected Statutes and International Materials

12.4. Newspaper Articles

12.5. Reports and Documents

12.6. Selected Law Review Articles and Books

13. Other Crimes

13.1. Counterfeiting

Of currency by one sovereign of the currency of another (viz: North Korea and Nazi Germany):

Of intellectual property on behalf of terrorists:

13.2. Bank Robbery, Kidnapping

13.3. Traffic in Weaponry

13.4. Corruption

13.5. “Street Terrorism” (Gang Affiliated Violence)

14. Treason

The issue is the threat, real or imagined, of violent overthrow of the existing order. Underlying the modern problem is the erosion of the claim by the State to allegiance:[67] permanent in the case of its nationals, temporary in the case of non-nationals present in the territory.[68] The allowance of dual nationality implies a recognition of conflict of allegiances. This is probably inevitable with the end of unity of the family in matters of nationality and domicile, and an independent right of women to retain their nationality and to transmit it to offspring born in wedlock. Modern views of civil and human rights make it difficult for the State to demand a primacy of loyalty and to inhibit sympathy for foreign and dissident states, ethnicities and groups. It also calls into question any demand for primacy of the loyalty of its expatriates from foreign governments.[69] In the past, members of particular sects deemed threatening to the State’s interests and primacy, have encountered hostility and discrimination: Jehovah’s Witnesses,[70] Amish,[71] Seventh-day Adventists,[72] Scientologists.[73]

14.1. Case Law – Selected Opinions

14.2. Internment Cases

14.3. Prosecution for Disclosure of Official Secrets:

14.4. Statutory Law

“The modern treason statute is 18 U.S.C. § 2381; it basically tracks the language of the constitutional provision. Other provisions of Title 18 criminalize various acts of war-making and adherence to the enemy. See, e.g., § 32 (destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities), § 2332a (use of weapons of mass destruction), § 2332b (acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries), § 2339A (providing material support to terrorists), § 2339B (providing material [*561] support to certain terrorist organizations), § 2382 (misprision of treason), § 2383 (rebellion or insurrection), § 2384 (seditious conspiracy), § 2390 (enlistment to serve in armed hostility against the United States). See also 31 CFR § 595.204 (prohibiting the “making or receiving of any contribution of funds, goods, or services” to terrorists); 50 U.S.C. § 1705(b) (criminalizing violations of 31 CFR § 595.204). The only other citizen other than Hamdi known to be imprisoned in connection with military hostilities in Afghanistan against the United States was subjected to criminal process and convicted upon a guilty plea. See U.S. v. Lindh, 212 F. Supp. 2d 541 (ED Va. 2002) (denying motions for dismissal); [Katharine] Seelye, Threats and Responses: The American in the Taliban; Regretful Lindh Gets 20 Years In Taliban Case,] N. Y. Times, Oct. 5, 2002, p. A1, col. 5.” Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. at 560-61

Note: Jose Padilla was prosecuted as a civilian. See:

15. Passive Support of Terrorists and Terrorism, “Glorifying” Terrorism

Early treason cases addressed the disloyalty of individuals owing allegiance, permanent or temporary, to the sovereign or the republic by fact of birth or presence, respectively. Post-World War II cases punished treasonous propaganda and abuse of Allied war prisoners by persons owing allegiance to Allied states. At least since the Vietnam War, however, overt criticism of one’s own country’s war-making has been impossible of prosecution in the West. The issue has become more complex as massive immigration followed by “family reunification” of spouses and offspring has led to the formation of communities with solidarity — to varying degrees — to the culture and state of origin.[75] The fear of “fifth column” support of the enemy and a presumption of terroristic intent was behind the German-American Bund cases (FBI reports; Knauer v. U.S., 328 U.S. 654 (1946)) and the internment of Japanese. But such fears merge easily with fear and loathing of the “other” and blatant racism.[76] In the recent past, it has morphed — in the Balkans and in parts of Africa — to ethnic cleansing, genocide and murder. There is an alternative or supplementary motivation, one that was seen in Nazi plunder, the Minorities Treaties, the Armenian genocide and the reciprocal plunder of assets of Jews expelled from Arab countries and Arabs expelled or who fled from present-day Israel. In the Middle East and North Africa, as earlier with massive population movement, it has led to the transportation or expulsion of ethnic groups with or without compensation. It has also led, less dramatically but no less measurably, to the erosion of minority populations in some countries and regions.[77]

This issue includes within it to a certain degree the charities and quasi-charities (more fully covered in the section above on financial support of terrorism) which funnel money from the ethnic communities in the West and from philosophic supporters of the aims of foreign groups which may be disposed to violence. The difference between the threat posed by al Qaeda, the Salafists,[78] the “Islamic State” (Daesh or ISIS) and their sympathizers is demographic: no other minority in the West can mobilize comparable numbers both abroad (in Asia and Africa) and locally (in Europe, the Americas and Australia). The Muslim Diaspora can be called upon to demonstrate solidarity over specific issues, and for funds.[79] The incident over the caricatures of Mohammed published first in Denmark and then elsewhere is illustrative.[80] The lack of symmetry between the expectations of and demands for by many Muslims of Western respect for theirs, and their own disdain for Western, values, norms and symbols should be unsurprising.[81] Other violent groups, too, find solidarity in Westernized migrant communities abroad, some of whom may deem those members of their faith who practice a more orthodox and literal version of it to be worthy of respect and support.[82] It is impossible to know how widespread such support for the more religiously observant may be,[83] although litigation following the closure by U.S. authorities of certain Muslim charities provides at least anecdotal information. The Israeli peace movement has provided some details of the funding of West Bank settlements and of “violence-prone settlers”.[84]

The most unfortunate source of passive support for terrorism is an unreasoned enmity and a schadenfreude based on no greater logic than “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.[85] On the other hand, Christopher Harmon (below) reminds us that “most terrorist groups come to an end”.

15.1. Selected Articles

A collateral issue is that of apologetics and of propaganda support for terrorists, past and present. Holocaust denial is a crime in some countries. Statutes are being enacted and prosecutions attempted for giving encouragement to terrorists and “aid and comfort to the enemy”.

15.2. Case Law

15.3. Libel Cases and Their Limitations

The issue is retaliation for an accusation of involvement in or support of terrorism. United Kingdom courts are particularly hospitable to plaintiffs in libel cases. In addition to the cases where organizations have sought to avoid classification as supporters of terrorism, there is potential for litigation over published allegations, or over expressions of an essentially political nature, as in the cases below. In the USA, First Amendment rights as explained in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964) severely limit in the United States the scope of actions in defamation and for enforcement of foreign libel judgments (But see below, three articles on Palin v. New York Times seeking to limit press protections even for public figures). An alternative form of intimidation, SLAPP suits, has achieved a certain notoriety.[86] The cases cited here have a nasty political, but not a genuine terrorism, aspect. Defamation, leafleting and the haranguing of clientele are not on the plane of economic sabotage, violence and threats of physical harm (see “eco-terrorism” above). Legislation against revisionism (Holocaust denial and the like) appealing to violent nationalist extremists raises yet further issues regarding the proper way to deal with incipient domestic terror.

15.4. Glorifying Terrorism

More on the conflict between globalization and culture and the involvement of legal systems:

On apologists for terrorism, “glorifying” terrorism:

15.4.1. On the (U.K.) Terrorism Bill and provisions against “glorifying terrorism” – political analysis

15.5. Counter-Terrorism Strategy – Entrapment, Informants

15.6. Torture

16. “State Terrorism”

This is a title easily and conveniently applied to the acts, the failure to act and the inability to act of feared or despised pariah states and governments (as in “axis of evil”). It is as easily used by the accused as by the accusers.[88] The term is thus weakened by its extensive use for propaganda purposes by left and right and it has appeared in few legal judgments. It encompasses governments that rule by terrorizing their own citizens,[89] and is distinguishable from the more banal “state-sponsored terrorism” undertaken by non-governmental parties with the connivance or support of the state. Just as the inverse of “terrorist” is “freedom fighter”, the inverse of defense against terrorism, or defense of the status quo and vested interests, is bound to also to attract the “state terrorism” label for some. The more so as one of the aims of terrorism is to provoke violent response, and perhaps over-reaction, from the authorities of the target state. The term is probably more political than legal, and for our purposes ought to be restricted to events and situations of the sort that have come before tribunals, domestic and international and international bodies. The Nuremburg and Tokyo trials, the International Criminal Tribunal, the ICTY and other tribunals charged with prosecuting perpetrators of particular atrocities, the UN and domestic cases seeking asylum and refugee status, punishment of foreign officials or recompense for wrongful death, torture, injury and loss constitute relevant case law. Military action in defense of empire and other displays of overwhelming power to intimidate others either by way of reprisal or to protect of paramount national interests have yielded uncountable instances of the deliberate use of terror or the toleration of terror by state actors or by members of one ethnic group against another. Genocide is just one example.

Terror, domestic or cross-border, may be unleashed by dysfunctional government or by the venality of rulers as an instrument of policy or by inability to govern: the situation in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Haiti, Iran, Ivory Coast, Khmer Republic, Liberia, Myanmar, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Somalia, Syria (and elsewhere) at various times are examples. Non-state actors like the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda and warlords in a number of other countries are subsets of the foregoing. To a greater or lesser extent, such terror will have overseas implications, economic, political and demographic.

16.1. The Nuremburg Trial and the Eichmann Case (Terror, Genocide as Instruments of Government Policy)

16.2. War Crimes, General (Selected Issues)

16.3. Libya

16.4. North Korea

16.5. International Tribunals

16.6. Other “Universal Jurisdiction” Cases and Issues

16.7. ICJ (selected cases)

16.8. United States Cases

16.9. United Kingdom Cases

16.10. Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria; Geneva Convention Issues

16.11. Chechnya

16.12. Saudi Arabia Issues

16.13. Risk of War, Generally

16.14. Russian Invasion of Ukraine

17. Religion and Terrorism

The historical link between religion and aggression is notorious, reaching back to antiquity and continuing to the present. Indeed, modern concepts of human rights and refugee law stem from the World War II and the Cold War eras. Extremists of all kinds have conducted, incited, or supported terrorist acts, but most are isolated atrocities by individuals and small groups, or assassinations, although a martyr may later be made icon of a particular terrorist movement: Baruch Goldstein and uncountable numbers of suicide bombers,[91] particularly Palestinians who have attacked or died attempting to attack Israeli targets. Religion may be only one element of ethnicity in regional terrorism, as with the Tamil Tigers.[92] Within Islam, murderous hostility simmers between the major divisions, Shia and Sunni,[93] and against minor sects such as the Ahmadis, deemed heretics in Pakistan and denied there the status of Muslims.[94]

While the United States has been threatened from within, notably by millenarian and neo-Christian militia groups,[95] it is the 9/11 hijacking-murders (New York, Washington, Pennsylvania) (and in England the 7/7 London bombing-murders) by radical Muslims that have generated the most fear. There is a theoretical, doctrinal underpinning to this Islamic radicalism which can be traced to the Muslim Brotherhood,[96] and the writings of Sayyid Qutb,[97] which castigate the Islamic civil state as well as the west for “jahiliyyah” (ignorance of divine guidance) — justifying jihad. Qutb rejects civil sovereignty and nationality, all sovereignty belonging to Allah; a rejection taken further by others who demand a return to the Muslim Caliphate.[98] The Deoband school (of which the Taliban are representative but naïve)[99] has taken such integrist teachings to extremes.[100]

17.1. Cases: Militia and Radical Christian Sects; Religious-Based Provocation

17.2. Other Reports and Articles

The asymmetry of the demands of Islamists and some other Muslims regarding religious-based issues, and law in the USA and Europe arise first in the reservations regarding human rights, and the Arab Charter on Human Rights, and, in 2006, in the matter of the cartoons of Muhammad published first in Denmark and then in many other countries. But dual standards are nothing new, and as law ago as UNCTAD, representatives of African and Asian nations justified them by pointing out that it was the West that had (1) enunciated the standards and (2) declared that it was observing them. There is a particular problem with titled officials of revealed religions who claim exclusivity for their faiths: ecumenism is both modern and liberal.

17.3. Selected Newspaper Articles

18. Medical Preparedness and Bio-Terrorism

19.1. Anti-Suit Injunction

  • Bank of Tokyo Ltd. v. Karoon, [1986] 3 All E.R. 468 (C.A.)
  • Peterson v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 758 F.3d 185 (2d Cir. 2014) (Summary judgment to the representatives of Americans killed in Iran-sponsored terrorist attacks and turnover of assets; anti-suit injunction against Bank Markazi in any jurisdiction or tribunal worldwide arising from or relating to blocked assets)

19.2. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) Terrorism Exception (Selected Cases)

20. Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights

20.1. European Cooperation

20.2. Right to Privacy

21. Relevance of the Law of War, the Geneva Conventions

Please Note: Proposals for revision of the Geneva Conventions need to take account of the number of independent states created since the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol were drafted, ratified and became part of the body of international law. Many of these new States will have no wish to further the interests of those older States that are the traditional destinations for asylum seekers. Legal systems of Member States of the Council of Europe bound by the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms are challenged to incorporate and coordinate rights attributable to individuals by the two systems. Thus: U.K. Human Rights Act 1998.

22. Statutes and Bills; Legislative Projects; Commentaries (By Country)

The following is a selection based on on-line availability, providing examples and organized by country. It is not an exhaustive survey.












El Salvador













New Zealand






Saudi Arabia

South Africa




Trinidad and Tobago



United Kingdom

United States

23. Government, Academic and Scholarly Reference Sites, Archives

23.1. Government Reports

23.2. Articles, Documents: Skeptical, Contrary and Critical Views

24. Middle East Matters

[1] See the writings of Ernest Gellner and Benedict Anderson.

[2] Yoav Gelber, Palestine 1948 War, Escape and the Emergence of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, at 298-302 (2001). The European — and Israeli — expectation is compromise and concession; the Palestinian is “justice” without regard to compromise or counterclaim and this without regard to issues of security.

[3] Michael Herz, “Do Justice!”: Variations of a Thrice-Told Tale, 82 Va. L. Rev. 111 (1996).

[4] N.Y. Times editorial, The Judges Made Them Do It, Apr. 6, 2005; Gina Holland, Ginsburg Reveals Details of Threat, Washington Post/AP, Mar. 15, 2006; Washington Post, Charles Lane, Ginsburg Faults GOP Critics, Cites a Threat From “Fringe”, Washington Post, Mar. 17, 2006, p. A03.

[5] On this see Stelio Séfériadès, L’échange des populations, 24 Rec. des cours 307 (1928-IV).

[6] Jean S. Saba, L’Islam et la nationalité (1931); Paul Ghali, Les Nationalités détachées de l’Empire Ottoman à la suite de la Guerre (1934); Abdelouahed Belkeziz, La Nationalité dans les Etats arabes (1963); Bruce Maddy-Weitzman, The Crystallization of the Arab State System, 1945-1954 (1993).

[7] “The Rise and Fall of Mazzinian Nationalism on the Italian Peninsula”; Wikipedia, “Religious Nationalism”

[8] Shall “human rights” be a relative norm notwithstanding the contrary presumption of the Universal Declaration?. Compare the draft Arab Charter of Human Rights

[9] F. T. Piggott, The “Ligeance of the King”, The Nineteenth Century and After, No. 464, Oct. 1915, p. 729.

[10] Law of July 14, 1798, 1 Stat. 597; e.g., U.S. v. Callender, 25 F.Cas 239 (C.C.D.Va. 1800) (No. 14,709).

[11] Prohibiting the teaching of foreign languages in primary schools; see Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923); Bartels v. Iowa, 262 U.S. 404 (1923).

[12] Among them U.S. v. Baeker, 55 F.Supp. 403 (E.D. Mich. 1944).

[13] Fong Yue Ting v. United States, 149 U.S. 698 (1893).

[14] Hirabayashi v. U.S., 320 U.S. 81 (1943)

[15] Co-operative Committee on Japanese Canadians v. Attorney-General for Canada, [1947] A.C. 87.

[16] Thus: Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652 (1925); Schneiderman v. United States, 320 U.S. 118 (1943).

[17] U.S. v. Kawakita, 96 F. Supp. 824; aff’d 190 F.2d 506 (9th Cir. 1951), 343 U.S. 717 (1952).

[18] The Pizarro, 15 U.S. 227 (1817), Inglis v. Sailors’ Snug Harbor, 28 U.S. (3 Pet.) 99 (1830).

[19] “Gandhi’s words”; MKGandhi.org; Wikiquote.

[20] Jurist; University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, Famous Trials FBI, Mississippi Burning.

[21] Irish Hunger Strikes Commemorative Project.

[22] See Frances FitzGerald, Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam (1972).

[23] Assaf Moghadam, Motives for Martyrdom: Al-Qaida, Salafi Jihad, and the Spread of Suicide Attacks, 33 Int’l Security 46 (2008-09).

[24] Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wave of Terror (2016) British National Archives, documents concerning Irgun.

[25] Susan B. Glasser, “Martyrs” In Iraq Mostly Saudis: Web Sites Track Suicide Bombings, Washington Post, May 15, 2005

[26] Afghanistan Watch: “Iraq tactics hit Afghanistan” (2005); Greg Sanders, Review Digest: Human Rights and the War on Terror: Afghanistan (Univ. of Denver).

[27] Jan Oskar Engene, Five Decades of Terrorism in Europe: The TWEED Dataset, 44 J. Peace Res. 109 (2007).

[28] Sean D. Murphy, ed., Terrorist Attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon, 96 Am. J. Int’l L. 237 (2002); The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, 9/11 Commission Report (2004).

[29] An erosion of human, civil and even political rights may be counted among these.

[30] Menahem Begin (and see: Jean Shaoul, Terrorism and the Origins of Israel (“World Socialist Web Site”; repeating an essay that appears on numerous anti-Zionist, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Web sites)); Yassir Arafat (but see: “The Nobel After Arafat”); Gerry Adams; Nelson Mandela (Umkhonto we Sizwe; see also Wikipedia’s account).

[31] South Africa, Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

[32] This may not be the case in civil-law countries, where an heir who has reason to suspect an insolvent succession should call for an accounting before accepting an inheritance: George A. Pelletier Jr., Michael Roy Sonnenrich, A Comparative Analysis of Civil Law Succession, 11 Vill. L. Rev. 323 (1966) (“The heir [in France], once he accepts the estate or his share, becomes liable for the payment of all the debts of the estate even if such debts are in excess of the assets.”); Fabienne Cornillon, Succession: que deviennent les dettes, Ridins.com, Mar. 20, 2020 (“Les trois solutions offertes aux héritiers”); EU, European Justice, Succession—France (“Heirs who have opted for unconditional acceptance have unlimited liability for all the deceased’s debts and charges. However, they can apply to be released from all or part of their obligation for a debt on the estate if, at the time of succession, they may have been unaware of the existence of that liability and payment of these debts could seriously prejudice their own assets.”); Raymond Théodore Troplong, Le droit civil expliqué suivant l’ordre du Code (Meline, Cans 1848).

[33] The issues decided by cited judgments may be peripheral to terrorism as a research subject; they are included for illustrative purposes. Few decisions address the definition of “terrorism” as such, and indeed black-letter law can only punish specific acts and deeds. See Humanitarian Law Project v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 380 F.Supp.2d 1134 (C.D. Cal. 2005). 18 U.S.C. § 23339B(g)(6) provides: “‘terrorist organization’ means an organization designated as a terrorist organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act”: in other words, an organization so designated from time to time by the Secretary of State.

[34] Not to forget the attempt by the late Adam Swarz to make the contents of JSTOR available free to everyone, as “democratized” federal court documents by a (partial) mirror of PACER.gov in RECAP.

[35] See Paul Krugman, When “Freedom” Means the Right to Destroy, N.Y. Times, Feb. 14/15, 2022 (print version)

[36] Apparently nonpartisan, but with a stated agenda “to support the defense of democratic societies under assault by terrorism and Militant Islamism.”

[37] Jamestown Foundation: Information “about events and trends in those societies which are strategically or tactically important to the United States”.

[38] Blackmer v. U.S., 284 U.S. 421, 437 (1932) (Writ of certiorari; fines imposed on a U.S. citizen resident in France for disobeying a subpoena to testify in a criminal case). For background on Henry Blackmer, see “Cripple Creek History”. The case attracted substantial contemporary interest in France, and a book: Albert Gouffre de Lapradelle, Causes célèbres du droit des gens, Affaire Henry M. Blackmer extradition (1929); Blackmer wins extradition, N.Y. Times, Dec. 16, 1928.

[39] Consider the limited attention given currently to terrorist acts in Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria as compared to countries where there is a large U.S. presence and diplomatic concern.

[40] Bob Woffinden, Miscarriages of Justice (Proteus 1984); Jessica Blanc and Erc Jenses, The Exonerated. Referred to in the latter play is the convictions of Sonia Jacobs (Jacobs v. Singletary, 952 F.2d 1282 (11th Cir. 1992)). See also Northwestern Law School Center on Wrongful Convictions

[41] Adam Liptak, Serving Life, With No Chance of Redemption, N.Y. Times, Oct. 5, 2005; Adam Liptak, To More Inmates, Life Term Means Dying Behind Bars, N.Y. Times, Oct. 2, 2005.

[42] See the work of Gilles Kepel and Bernard Lewis, and Navil Mouline, The Clerics of Islam: Religious Authority and Political Power in Saudi Arabia (Yale U.P. 2014), especially Chapter 9.

[43] The author was petroleum attaché (“regional resources officer”) at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979 but fortuitously escaped being taken hostage. There had been a similar demonstration a few days earlier which was defused. Classified exchanges between the Embassy and Washington on the issue of giving the Shah a visa was included by the Embassy attackers among many purloined cables and documents published by the embassy invaders as “Documents from the nest of spies”. (Giorgio Vercellin, Guide to “Documents from the Nest of Spies” (1986) — Den of Espionage – Inside the Former US Embassy in Tehran, Iran (photographic essay by “Nate”, sympathetic to the self-described “student” invaders) (archived copy) — John Limbert, Nest of Spies: Pack of Lies, The Washington Quarterly, v. 5, issue 2, p. 75 (1982)).

[44] Biographic notes: Samuel K. Doe.

[45] “The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand”.

[46] Bobby Joe Keesee biography.

[47] DEBKAfile, Murder Gun Betrays Greek Terror Group after 27 Years Terror suspect says he murdered British envoy, Scotsman, July 19, 2002.

[48] Shibley Telhami, In the Mideast, the Third Way Is a Myth, Washington Post, Feb. 17, 2006, p. A19.

[49] Celia W. Dugger, Asylum Rules Protect Both U.S. Allied and Adversaries, I.N.S. Says, N.Y. Times, Aug. 5, 1997.

[50] See below, “Status and Immigration”.

[51] The defendants are mentioned in In re Enron Corp. Securities, Derivatives and “ERISA” Litigation, 2005 WL 3504860.

[52] See 8 FAM 401.6. Prior to 1924 most Indigenous Americans (i.e., those who did not acquire U.S. citizenship (i.e. “Indians not taxed” and not deemed beneficiaries of the XIV Amendment) were deemed noncitizen protégés.

[53] “War” must be in the figurative sense, since the “enemy” remains undefined except in the imagination. This creates a problem in purporting to apply (or not) the laws of war. There is, in any case, an asymmetry and a risk of the “war” degenerating into a typical colonial conflict. In Padilla v. Rumsfeld, 352 F.3d 695 (2d Cir. 2003) the Second Circuit had to address whether the President has “inherent power” to detain a suspected or presumed enemy combatant “for the duration of armed conflict”. That the conflict is with a non-sovereign enemy without corporate existence or centralized power structure was not addressed, but the possibility of its indefinite duration was.

[54] Words used by Mr. Justice Holmes in Schenck v. U.S., 249 U.S. 47 (1919) and in 107 U.S. Supreme Court judgments since then.

[55] For purposes of comparison, the European Commission Web site shows the registration requirements for each member state

[56] House of Lords Report

[57]Real ID”. A linked issue is the insurance coverage of unlicensed drivers: compare “uninsured motorist coverage” in U.S. automobile policies with EU Motor Insurance Directive which addresses insolvent insurers, foreign-registered vehicles (even with forged or invalid license plates) and uninsured drivers. The misrepresentation issue is addressed in a few cases including Perez v. Ohio Casualty Ins. Co., 2005 WL 2363828 (N.J. Super.) and State Farm Ins. Co. v. Sabato, 767 A.2d 485 (N.J. Super. 2001).

[58] Stephen H. Unger, National ID Cards: A Threat to Liberty? (2010).

[59] Nina Bernstein, Seized with Heavy Hand at Border, For Paperwork Errors?, N.Y. Times, Feb. 10, 2006.

[60] See a string of European Court of Justice cases severely limiting the right of member states to exclude European citizens, notably R. v. Pieck, [1980] E.C.R. 2171 (lack of residence permit) and Van Duyn v. Home Office, [1974] E.C.R. 1337 (staff member of Church of Scientology), Adoui & Cornuaille v. Belgium, [1982] E.C.R. 1665 (prostitution).

[61] See the writer’s paper on this subject, presented to the Council of Europe Conference on Nationality in October 2004.

[62] Already the exercise of family reunification claims have been hindered: the issuance of K (fiancé(e)) visas and immigrant visas for spouses and immediate family is subject to strict conditions and some delay. USCIS “How do I bring my fiancé(e) to the United States?” (with links to relevant U.S. Code and C.F.R. provisions).

[63] The Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons copies it nearly verbatim.

[64] Reported in N.Y. Times: March 27, 1951, pp. 1, 18; Nov. 2, p. 11; Nov. 3, pp. 1 & 5; Nov. 4, p. 42; Ellen Raphael Knauff, The Ellen Knauff Story (1952) (review), includes the text of the Board’s 29 Aug. 1951 judgment in Case No. A-6937471 and the Attorney General’s decision of Nov. 2 approving the grant of immigrant status leading to naturalization.

[65] The issue here may be more serious than many would assume. Assimilating in-your-face dissent and eccentricity to support of terrorism, or using laws, deliberately vague and open-ended and designed to thwart terror against passive dissenters, may deny the government a consensus for measures necessarily questionable in terms of human rights because they are aimed at presumed planners of terrorist acts and their supporters. Compare the more general issue of suppressing public dissent in the presence of policymakers, e.g. the January 31, 2006 Cindy Sheehan anti-war T-shirt incident: CNN report; Sheehan (Truthout).

[66] The following trafficking cases were motivated by greed, not terrorism: U.S. v. Trapilo, 130 F.3d 547 (2d Cir. 1997) (“We therefore hold that a scheme to defraud the Canadian government of tax revenue is cognizable under the federal wire fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1343, and reverse the order of the district court that dismissed the indictment alleging a money-laundering conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956”); similarly, U.S. v. Pasquantino, 336 F.3d 321 (4th Cir. 2003); contra, United States v. Boots, 80 F.3d 580 (1st Cir. 1996), cert. denied 519 U.S. 905 (1996).

[67] For background see Clive Parry, British Nationality Law and the History of Naturalisation (1954).

[68] This created an anomaly historically with regard to American women who had married aliens, before the Cable Act of 1922; to Indigenous Americans prior to the Indian Citizenship (Syder) Act of 1924, to Filipinos prior to the Tydings–McDuffie Act of 1934; to African Americans prior to the XIV Amendment in 1868.

[69] Speech of President Mohammad Khatami to Iranian-Americans at the United Nations, 20 Sept. 1998, reported by Associated Press, 20 Sept. at 16.25 EDT.

[70] B. (R.) v. Children’s Aid, [1995] 1 S.C.R. 315 (transfusion for infant); Re Jensen, (1976) 67 D.L.R.(3d) 514, 69 I.L.R. 194 (naturalisation oath); Roncarelli v. Duplessis, [1959] S.C.R. 121 (use of public facilities); Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society v. Mount Roskill Borough, [1959] N.Z.L.R. 1236 (S.Ct.) (reversing finding of “subversive”); Walsh v. Lord Advocate, [1956] 1 W.L.R. 1002 (H.L.) (conscription); Adelaide Company of Jehovah’s Witnesses v. Commonwealth, [1943] 67 C.L.R. 116 (H.C. Australia) (prejudicial to conduct of war).

[71] Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972) (compulsory education); U.S. v. Lee, 455 U.S. 252 (1982) (state pension scheme).

[72] Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963) (refusal to work on the Sabbath); Prais v. Council, [1976] E.C.R. 1589 (recruitment examination held on a Saturday).

[73] Van Duyn v. Home Office, [1974] E.C.R. 1337, upon reference in [1974] 1 W.L.R. 1107 (Ch. Div.); Hubbard v. Vosper, [1972] 2 Q.B. 84; Church of the New Faith v. Commissioner for Pay-roll Tax, (1983) 49 A.L.R. 65 (H.C. Australia); Church of Scientology v. Sweden, ECHR, 14 July 1980, R. & D., vol. 21, p. 109, Application No. 8282/78.

[74] But see also Kawakita (Hayashi) v. Lorenz, 271 P.2d 18 (Cal. 1954) (dismissal of claim for fraudulent disposal of Kawakita family property during their wartime internment).

[75] See note 69 above.

[76] Thus: Lucy E. Salyer, Laws Harsh as Tigers: Chinese Immigrants and the Shaping of Modern Immigration Law (1995).

[77] Robert Fisk, Exodus: Christians of the Arab World Flee Their Biblical Homeland, Independent, Sept. 24, 1997, p. 11.

[78] CBC Report, The Salafist Movement (via archive.org)

[79] Tara Lewelling, Exploring Muslim Diaspora Communities in Europe through a Social Movement Lens: Some Initial Thoughts, 4 Strategic Insights (May 2005 Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Contemporary Conflict, (PDF 80Kb.).

[80] Francis Elliott et al., The Two Faces of Islam UK, Independent, Feb. 12, 2006.

[81] See the references under “Religion and Terrorism”.

[82] Thus: The Kach movement of Rabbi Meyer Kahane, Jewish Virtual Library; Center for Defense Information (2002); India: B. Raman, Terrorism: India’s Unending War, Rediff, April 4, 2003 and see: “Moneylaundering and the financial support of terrorism” above. The support of extremist Islamic centers abroad by sometimes outwardly “moderate” Saudi donors is well known: Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Subversion from within: Saudi funding of extremist groups in the United States (2003); Aspen Institute Berlin, Interview with Irshad Manji, Steven Emerson and Gilles Kepel (undated, probably 2005).

[83] Yoginder Sikand, Pakistan, Islam and Indian media stereotypes, Countercurrent, Jan. 21, 2006.

[84] “Coalition for Justice in Hawaiian Gardens & Jerusalem”.

[85] Samuel Brittan reviewing Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations: My enemy’s enemy is not always my friend, Halkyut Soc., 2002. See also Niall Ferguson, The crash of civilizations, L.A. Times, Feb. 27, 2006; Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations?, 72 For. Aff. 22 (Summer 1993) (another copy) and as Ch. 6 in Lane Crothers, Charles Lockhart, ed., Culture and Politics, A Reader (Palgrave Macmillan 2000), and The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, Simon & Schuster, 1996 through 2011; Ross Douthat, Vladimir Putin’s Clash of Civilizations, N.Y. Times, Feb. 26/27, 2022, p. 9 (print version); Ross Douthat, Yes, There is a Clash of Civilizations, New York Times, Mar. 30, 2022; Olivier Roy, L’Ukraine invalide le “choc des civilisations”, L’Obs, Le Nouvel Observateur, Mar. 10, 2022, p. 67 (print version), in English as Ukraine and the Clash of Civilisation theory, an interview with Olivier Roy, European Univ. Inst., Mar. 10, 2022.

[86] George W. Pring, Penelope Canan, SLAPPs: Getting Sued for Speaking Out (Temple Univ. Press, 1996). Several bibliographies and analyses can be found with a search engine.

[87] The case may hold lessons for those charged with distinguishing harmless propaganda from incipient terrorism. One remarkable point of the judgment was that McDonald’s (who seemed to be claiming that it was being terrorized by defamatory leafleting) was libeled because they were said to be depleting the rain forests when in fact their agricultural demands are affecting Latin American forests. The defendants speak the language of anarchists but only the plaintiffs seem to have seen them as terrorists. This writer attended part of the trial. McDonald’s won the case (up until the ECHR decision against the United Kingdom government) but it was a Pyrrhic victory. They did not seek costs against the defendants who in any event were penniless.

[88] “‘[T]he proposals contained in this draft shall be binding [when] … State terrorism against Libya shall end, there shall be a halt to threats and provocations against it'”, quoting a letter from representatives of the Libyan Government, in Smith v. Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, 886 F.Supp. 306, 314 (E.D. N.Y. 1995).

[89] Europe’s last dictatorship? Just grin and bear it, Economist, Mar. 20, 2006. When this writer was at the National Library of Belarus in Minsk on a legal documentation project some years ago, he was astonished to find missing from the law library shelves certain numbers of the second series of the Official Gazette. He was advised that these had been suppressed by the Presidency. There are a few, but not many, governments that enforce unpublished laws and regulations.

[90] Everything had been prepared for what promised to be the sale of the Kremlin’s new century, the auction whereby one of the biggest prizes in the oil industry was to be returned to the hands of the state – with the approval and participation of Western banking institutions and oil majors to boot. But just four days before the Yugansk sale was due to be held, Yukos’s senior management, still led by Theede and Misamore from exile in London, dug in for a final act of defiance. The blow came without any warning: they’d quietly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for Yukos in a Houston court, and won a temporary stay to halt the sale.[49] All of a sudden, Gazprom’s Western backers fell away.[50] The Yukos managers had argued that the company fell under the protection of the US legal system because US minority investors held a 10 per cent stake, while the oil major itself had ‘significant business’ in the US.[51]

The last-minute move sent Putin into a vituperous rage. ‘I’m not sure [the judge] even knows where Russia is,’ he snapped.[52] Insisting that the US courts had no jurisdiction over what happened in Russia, the Kremlin pressed ahead with the sale. But for Gazprom, the risks of bidding in the auction had become too high. Its ownership of a web of assets in the West – storage facilities, trading hubs and joint ventures for gas distribution in Europe – left it open to lawsuits should it » seek to bid in the sale and violate the US order. Instead, the way was cleared for Igor Sechin, the silovik many in the banking community had begun to name ‘the dark lord’ for his propensity for scheming and his ruthless ambition, to make another bid for Yugansk. His Rosneft oil major had no assets in the West. 

[91] Wikipedia, “Baruch Goldstein“; cf. the fringe Jewish Task Force.

[92] BBC, Tamil Tigers: a fearsome force (2000).

[93] South Asia Analysis Group, Massacres of Shias in Iraq and Pakistan (2004).

[94] Newspaper articles archived on an Ahmadiyya-sponsored site (2011); Pervez Amir Ali Hoodbhoy, How Islam Lost Its Way, Washington Post, Dec. 30, 2001.

[95] Air University resources (July 2000 via archive.org) — Anti-Defamation League appraisal (via archive.org)

[96] Ewen MacAskill, UK to build ties with banned Islamist group, Guardian, Feb. 17, 2006.

[97] Sayyid Qutb; David Von Drehle, How an Egyptian student came to study 1950s America and left determined to wage holy war, Smithsonian, Feb. 2006; Wikipedia; Ashland University Ashbrook Center, The Thought of Sayyid Qutb; Milestones (“Ma’alim fi’l Tariq”) (1965) (and at several other Internet sites).

[98] USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts (archived copy)

[99] Chip Brown, The Freshman, N.Y. Times Magazine, Feb. 26, 2006 (former Taliban ambassador/spokesman Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, then a non-degree student at Yale). See Rebeca White, Whatever Happened to Yale’s Taliban Freshman?, Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2014.

[100] Julian West and Jo Knowsley, British Muslims ordered to adopt Taliban teachings. Sunday Telegraph, July 27, 1997; Celia W. Dugger, Indian Town’s Seed Grew Into the Taliban’s Code, N.Y. Times, Feb. 23, 2002 (Deobandism).