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Fact Sheet
Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Washington, DC
April 8, 2008

Immigration and Nationality Act Section212

Return to Foreign Terrorist Organization factsheet.

Section 212(a)(3)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) defines "terrorist activity" to mean: any activity which is unlawful under the laws of the place where it is committed (or which, if committed in the United States, would be unlawful under the laws of the United States or any State) and which involves any of the following:

(I) The highjacking or sabotage of any conveyance (including an aircraft, vessel, or vehicle).

(II) The seizing or detaining, and threatening to kill, injure, or continue to detain, another individual in order to compel a third person (including a governmental organization) to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the individual seized or detained.

(III) A violent attack upon an internationally protected person (as defined in section 1116(b)(4) of title 18, United States Code) or upon the liberty of such a person.

(IV) An assassination.

(V) The use of any--

(a) biological agent, chemical agent, or nuclear weapon or device, or

(b) explosive, firearm, or other weapon or dangerous device (other than for mere personal monetary gain), with intent to endanger, directly or indirectly, the safety of one or more individuals or to cause substantial damage to property.

(VI) A threat, attempt, or conspiracy to do any of the foregoing.

Other pertinent portions of section 212(a)(3)(B) are set forth below:

(iv) Engage in Terrorist Activity Defined

As used in this chapter [chapter 8 of the INA], the term '"ngage in terrorist activity" means in an individual capacity or as a member of an organization–

  1. to commit or to incite to commit, under circumstances indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily injury, a terrorist activity;
  2. to prepare or plan a terrorist activity;
  3. to gather information on potential targets for terrorist activity;
  4. to solicit funds or other things of value for–

(aa) a terrorist activity;

(bb) a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(I) or (vi)(II); or

(cc) a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III), unless the solicitor can demonstrate that he did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the solicitation would further the organization’s terrorist activity;

I. to solicit any individual–

(aa) to engage in conduce otherwise described in this clause;

(bb) for membership in terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(I) or (vi)(II); or

(cc) for membership in a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III), unless the solicitor can demonstrate that he did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the solicitation would further the organization’s terrorist activity; or

II. to commit an act that the actor knows, or reasonably should know, affords material support, including a safe house, transportation, communications, funds, transfer of funds or other material financial benefit, false documentation or identification, weapons (including chemical, biological, or radiological weapons), explosives, or training–

(aa) for the commission of a terrorist activity;

(bb) to any individual who the actor knows, or reasonably should know, has committed or plans to commit a terrorist activity;

(cc) to a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(I) or (vi)(II); or

(dd) to a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III), unless the actor can demonstrate that he did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the act would further the organization’s terrorist activity.

This clause shall not apply to any material support the alien afforded to an organization or individual that has committed terrorist activity, if the Secretary of State, after consultation with the Attorney General, or the Attorney General, after consultation with the Secretary of State, concludes in his sole unreviewable discretion, that that this clause should not apply.

(v) Representative Defined

As used in this paragraph, the term "representative" includes an officer, official, or spokesman of an organization, and any person who directs, counsels, commands, or induces an organization or its members to engage in terrorist activity.

i. Terrorist Organization Defined

As used in clause (i)(VI) and clause (iv), the term "terrorist organization" means an organization--

I. designated under section 219 [8 U.S.C. § 1189];

II. otherwise designated, upon publication in the Federal Register, by the Secretary of State in consultation with or upon the request of the Attorney General, as a terrorist organization, after finding that the organization engages in the activities described in subclause (I), (II), or (III) of clause (iv), or that the organization provides material support to further terrorist activity; or

III. that is a group of two or more individuals, whether organized or not, which engages in the activities described in subclause (I), (II), or (III) of clause (iv).

For more information, see Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Return to Foreign Terrorist Organization factsheet.



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