A Discussion of the Factors Affecting Legislation on Terrorism: 535 and Counting,
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE WASHINGTON DC
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There have been recent legislation and Senate treaty ratifications that could be considered successes in the are of anti-terrorism. 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act set up procedures for electronic surveillance to acquire certain national security information, including terrorists acts. Information for probable cause determination goes to the FISA Court and is kept sealed. The Executive and Legislative Branches have sung the laws praises and the courts have upheld its constitutionality against many attacks. 1982 Agent Identities Protection Act criminalized disclosure of undercover agents. Covert Action Information Bulletin has not published another name since the bill passed the Senate, which was months before it was signed into law. The Senate has also sent to the House a bill which provides capital punishment for terrorism, but, I repeat myself, the House has not been very receptive to restrictive crime legislation. So there the legislation might sit. International Convention Against the Taking of Hostages imposes binding legal obligation on the parties either to extradite or submit for prosecution alleged hostage-takers found in their jurisdiction. Each signatory state must comply with this obligation without regard to where the alleged hostage-taking was committed. Another treaty is the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. This convention requires that those who commit serious offenses involving nuclear material will be punished and that international cooperation in providing security for nuclear material will be increased.