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Domestic and International Terrorism


Summary of Policy and Recommendations 
  • ADL believes strongly that law enforcement must be appropriately empowered to prevent acts of domestic terrorism and extremist violence.
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  • We support robust Congressional oversight of new powers granted to law enforcement officials, accountability and transparency in the Executive Branch, implementation of investigative and surveillance powers, appropriate administrative reporting requirements, and opportunities for meaningful judicial review for alleged excesses or abuses.
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  • We believe that persons detained in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, are entitled to habeas corpus rights and due process under law.
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  • We call for the tightening of banking and other financial regulations to stop the money laundering and flow of funding essential to support terrorist organizations.
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  • We believe legislation, such as the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, can be designed in such a way as to maintain appropriate judicial oversight and respect for the due process rights of persons within the United States.
 
Background 

Even before the horrifying events of September 11, 2001, the Anti-Defamation League advocated for a recalibration between security and civil liberties.  ADL believes strongly that law enforcement must be appropriately empowered to prevent acts of domestic terrorism and extremist violence.  We do not believe that balancing national security and individual rights is a zero sum game.  The League supports robust Congressional oversight of new powers granted to law enforcement officials, accountability and transparency in the Executive Branch, implementation of investigative and surveillance powers, appropriate administrative reporting requirements, and opportunities for meaningful judicial review for alleged excesses or abuses.  

It is well established that the government has the constitutional right – and the duty – to keep our nation from being used as a base for terrorist activity.  Limiting access to the U.S. for individuals involved in terrorism, establishing sanctions on those nations that support terrorism, and banning fundraising and material support for foreign terrorist organizations in this country are important ways in which Congress and the Administration have attempted to prevent acts of terrorism before they occur.    

In order to curb the power of extremists and terrorists who commit or threaten to commit violent acts motivated by hatred on American soil, the U.S. Attorney General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation must be able to employ all of their investigative authority outlined in the applicable federal guidelines to enforce all appropriate law, with due regard to the constitutional and civil rights of those being investigated.

At the same time, we believe our government must maintain a balance in confronting terrorism – vigorously implementing the law while preserving due process rights of suspects. To that end, we believe that persons detained in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, are entitled to habeas corpus rights and due process under law, as guaranteed by the Supreme Court of the United States’  decision in Boumediene v. Bush, 128 S.Ct. 2229 (2008). 

ADL is concerned about gaps in the intelligence community’s ability to provide warning of threats to our basic safety and security and we believe legislation to address these gaps is necessary.  We believe legislation, such as the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, can be designed in such a way as to maintain appropriate judicial oversight and respect for the due process rights of persons within the United States. 

ADL is also deeply concerned about the ability of terrorists to finance their activities.  We support the tightening of banking and other financial regulations to stop the money laundering and flow of funding essential to support terrorist organizations.   

Printable Version
ADL Recommendations to RNC and DNC Platforms (.pdf)
Related Press Release
ADL Submits Policy Priorities to Democratic and Republican Platform Committees (7/21/08)
RELATED
Statements on Issues Related to the 2008 Campaign
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