One Page Summary of Amended Bill

 

“Material Support to Designated Entities Act of 2011”

 

·        the intent of the bill all along has been to close the prevention gap of the 2002 “Tennessee Terrorism Prevention Act” which was passed shortly after 9/11.

 

·        the new amendment that rewrites the bill is a fiscally responsible way to achieve this objective.

 

·        the bill is very timely in view of the fact that an August 2010 background report showed 21 U.S. citizens were charged in terrorist cases in 2009 and another 20 were charged in 2010 between January and August.   The trajectory of cases of home grown terrorism include actors such as Memphian Carlos Bledsoe who attempted to firebomb the home of a Nashville rabbi and went on to murder Private Long in Arkansas.  Secretary Janet Napolitano has called out to states to become more active and engaged in counter-terrorism measures.

 

·        the new amendment eliminates designation of terrorist entities by the state authorities and instead, defers to designations made by the U.S. Secretary of State and the Department of the Treasury.

 

·        the new amendment updates several of the definitions including the definition of “material support” to be consistent with the federal statute and the recent U.S. Supreme Court cases.

 

·        the new amendment adds the “material support to designated entities” violation into the existing statute.  This recognizes the entities designated by the federal authorities and operates to cut off the very types of support that typically enable others to carry out planned acts of terrorism. 

 

·        the new amendment makes both types of material support violations Class A felonies (the current statute is only a Class B felony).