Tag Archives: anti-terrorism

State’s 2002 Anti-Terrorism Law Rarely Used

Amal Abdullahi is the first person in Davidson County to be arrested under the state’s anti-terrorism laws, reports The Tennessean. along with the observation that charges have rarely been upheld when applied in other cases elsewhere in Tennessee.
Abdullahi, 29, was arrested Sept. 6, on the charge after a co-worker at CEVA Logistics accused her of saying that America was full of unbelievers who should die and that she should pick up a gun and shoot everyone. She’s one of only nine people The Tennessean has been able to identify in the state as having been arrested on terrorism-related charges since the laws went into effect in 2002.
All but one of the defendants whose cases came to a conclusion had their charges dismissed or were convicted on lesser charges.
State Sen. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, who supported the state’s 2002 terrorism laws, says there could be a lot of reasons that terrorism charges are often reduced or dropped.
“There could be extenuating circumstances; the individual could be mentally ill. They could have made it (the threat) in the heat of some emotional distress and really not meant it. I think one would probably have to look at the intent of the individual, did they really mean that,” McNally said. “And I think that’d be something that the district attorney general would take into account, whether the individual could actually do it or not.”
…Abdullahi is free on $50,000 bond after family was able to post her bail. She is expected to be in court Oct. 10 and has retained Nashville attorney David Raybin.
“Due to the gravity of the charges against her, I feel that it’s inappropriate for us to discuss the specifics of the charge, other than to deny the allegations,” Raybin said. “She is certainly a devout Muslim and respects her religion and respects other people’s religions.”

Governor Speaks on Anti-Terrorism, Voting Bills

WSMV-TV has reported comments from Gov. Bill Haslam on two bills that have reached his desk after adjournment of the 2011 legislative session.
First, Haslam declares himself “much more comfortable” with a bill promoted as opposing terrorism since it was amended substantially from earlier versions.
“I like where the bill ended, quite frankly. And I wasn’t quite sure why the governor and the attorney general had those roles and whether that was appropriate, so I thought where the bill ended up will be helpful,” Haslam said.
The original bill (HB1353) included language that allowed the governor to designate terrorist organizations and also included provisions about Sharia law, the code of conduct or religious law of Islam.
But lawmakers changed the language after many groups expressed outrage, saying the bill made it illegal to be a Muslim. The plan now simply increases penalties if groups provide support to terrorist organizations.

Photo ID & Early Voting
Haslam said he backs a bill requiring that voters show a photo ID, but has misgivings about another bill that cuts two days off the early voting period next year.
While the governor supports the photo ID concept, he has concerns about lowering the number of early voting days. He knows it’s a cost to counties, but it’s usually a benefit to voters.
“My personal feeling is that a little longer early voting periods are good because it does give citizens that flexibility,” said Gov. Bill Haslam.
The state will have to pay for photo IDs if people can’t afford them or else the plan could be declared unconstitutional
Note: The main photo voter bill is SB16. The bill mandating free state-issued ID cards for voting is SB1666.