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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.”