Threatening terrorism against the United States

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Threatening terrorism against the United States is a class C felony punishable by 10 years imprisonment under 18 U.S.C. § 2332b(c)(1)(g). The elements of the offense are that someone willfully threatens to commit a crime that will result in death or great bodily harm; the threat is made with the specific intent that it be taken as a threat; the threat is so unequivocal, unconditional, and specific as to convey a gravity of purpose and immediate prospect of execution; the threat actually causes fear in the victim; and the fear is reasonable.[1]

Laws governing such threats were passed after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The law was amended by the Terrorist Hoax Improvements Act of 2007.[2][3] False information and hoaxes pertaining to attacks on U.S. officials, government buildings, airplanes, etc. are also punishable under 18 U.S.C. § 1038 as a class D felony, punishable by 5 years imprisonment.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ link
  2. ^ Thomas Locator link
  3. ^ United States Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), The First Anniversary Of The Virginia Tech Tragedy, statement on United States Senator Patrick Leahy's official site, April 15, 2008. Leahy says that the School Safety and Law Enforcement Improvement Act "clarifies and strengthens two existing statutes – the Terrorist Hoax Improvements Act and the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act..."