Legal Issues Concerning Extradition as a Tool to Fight International Terrorism

Sean D. Hill, Sam Houston State University

This paper delineates the salient issues surrounding the role of extradiction in preventing and responding to international terrorism from a U.S. perspective. The first issue addressed is definitional concerns in codifying international terrorism. Additionally, the political offense exception clause that circumscribes extradition in cases involving politically motivated crimes and prosecutions that have historically been the most controversial, and drawn the most attention from policy makers, will also be considered in this review. The use of the Internet as a means of communication between terrorists and legal deficiencies in international law related to technological advances that enable cyber terrorists to operate without fear of legal reprisal will also be addressed. An analysis of case studies that have impacted precedence in U.S. courts and the impact of legislative decisions following major terrorist incidents directed against Americans will also be conducted. Future considerations for international policiy makers concerning the role of extradition as a legitimate tool to bring international terrorists to justice are also explored.

(Return to Program Resources)

Updated 05/20/2006