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Cedric, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 2899
Experience:  Several Years of Criminal Defense Trials in L.A. and O.C. as public defender and private attorney
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Sir, Please help me explain whether a terrorism should

Resolved Question:


Please help me explain whether a "terrorism" should be just considered a " criminal act" or an "Act of war?"

Thanks for your reply.

Frank Escalante
AMU student
Submitted: 7 years ago via Cornell Legal Info Institute.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Cedric replied 7 years ago.
I believe that a terrorist act should just be considered a criminal act and not an act of war.

Acts of war are carried out by other countries, not individuals or terrorist organizations, and they should be subject to the same criminal law that other criminals are, since our judiciary system is fully equipped to deal with people charged with terrorist acts.

For instance, Timothy McVeigh's bombing of the Oklahoma City building was a terrorist act, and was charged in a federal criminal court, where he was (in my opinion, even though I generally oppose the death penalty) rightfully found guilty and sentenced to death.

The same would happen with members of Al Quaeda involved in either the 9/11 plots, or others designed to kill American citizens, and treating them as enemy combatants has only delayed their inevitable punishment and provided nothing of real intelligence value.
Cedric and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
<p>Your answer, "Acts of war are carried out by other countries, not individuals or terrorist organizations,...."</p><p> </p><p>Follow ups questions:</p><p> </p><p>1. In case of Osama Bin Laden, he was not only supported by individuals but even countries to carry out his plan against the West or United States. Is it not a war against the United States, and considered an act of war? </p><p> </p><p>2. Since the United States after 9/11, with the approval of congress Pres. George W. Bush declared war against the Terrorists and against the countries that support terrorism, which he considered it the best defense is to fight offensively abroad.Is it not an act of war?</p><p>3. Timothy McVeigh was a "lone terrorist" and it could be a different case. Am I right?</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>
Expert:  Cedric replied 7 years ago.
Actually, Timothy McVeigh did have co-conspirators, one of which, "John Doe # XXXXX" was never caught. You're right in that Osama bin Laden's act could be considered an act of war, but since it wasn't actually done by the Afghanistan government, I still wouldn't consider it an act of war. (But that's just my opinion).

Edited by Ced on 5/3/2010 at 5:24 PM EST