NUCLEAR TERRORISM JURISDICTION EXTENSION AND CONTROL ACT, H.R. 730 -- H.R. 730 (Extension of Remarks - January 30, 1995)
HON. BENJAMIN A. GILMAN
in the House of Representatives
MONDAY, JANUARY 30, 1995
- Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, today, I introduce another in a series of legislative proposals intended to strengthen America's defenses against the terrorist threat. I am particularly pleased to introduce the Nuclear Terrorism Jurisdictional Extension and Control Act of 1995, H.R. 730.
- This bill is an important step in our Nation's continuing and aggressive battle against international terrorism. It is especially important as relates to the latest and most alarming possibility, the nuclear terrorist threat.
- Since the collapse of the former Soviet Union, we are all familiar with the many news reports of that region, and in Europe on the possible black market sale of cold war missile nuclear material. The most recent account involved the arrests of smugglers and the seizure of almost three kilograms--6.6 pounds--of highly enriched uranium in the Czech Republic last December. This is a new challenge that cannot be ignored by either our allies in the region, or ourselves.
- The serious threat these new black market nuclear material sales pose, especially when made by common criminals, or organized crime figures from the former Soviet Union, possibly even to terrorists, or other unsavory individuals, is something to be taken seriously.
- We, here in the United States must act now, in order to be prepared for this new and possibly deadly nuclear challenge, before it is too late. We need to give our U.S. law enforcement agencies all the tools and authority they will need to fight this emerging new nuclear material criminal threat.
- The American law enforcement community needs new tools and statutory authority, especially following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the long-established strict state nuclear material controls, which once existed in the region. Controls and nuclear material stability, which today we can no longer take for granted or count on in many instances. The chances for trafficking in these nuclear materials is much greater today in light of these developments and the breakdown in traditional controls and state security arrangements in the region.
- While there is no need to panic, we must be prepared to act responsibly to insure that the United States can meet any nuclear material criminal threat, especially from terrorists, if one were to materialize. I note that the Secretary of State Mr. Christopher himself in an interview with the Washington Times on January 17, 1995, addressed some of the concerns over the nuclear material problem in the former Soviet Union, and the terrorist threat. While noting that the military facilities in the region maybe relatively safe from nuclear proliferation problems, unlike civilian laboratories, he went on to say `That's a problem for the entire world. It's a problem that we focus on in Russia because it has a great deal of this nuclear material.'
- Accordingly, we must review and revise our own criminal laws directed at the threat from the newest nuclear proliferation, especially in this unstable black market criminal climate in Eastern Europe today, where everything and anything, may be for sale. We must meet these new circumstances and challenges, many have not anticipated, nor even scarcely envisioned, just a few years ago.
- After review it is evident to me and others that there are some loopholes in U.S. criminal laws in this area that must be closed as soon as possible. In order to be prepared for such a new and more deadly threat, which no one could ever have imagined before the end of the cold war, we must act now and have our Federal criminal laws meet the new challenges.
- The bill I am introducing today, starts the process. It makes needed changes to help address this whole unanticipated new area of the criminal law and activity involving the unauthorized trade in dangerous nuclear materials for criminal purposes, including possible terrorism.
- This criminal threat, including this new phenomena of black market dealings in dangerous nuclear materials, requires even greater cooperation and international efforts by our law enforcement agencies in this post-cold-war era. Law enforcement both here and abroad, must be given the tools and authority in this new area of the criminal law to do the job, and protect all our citizens, whether at home or while they are abroad from a new nuclear threat.
- The bill I am introducing today provides the Attorney General and the FBI the necessary long arm jurisdiction to reach nuclear based crimes targeted against Americans anywhere in the world if the victim is the U.S. Government, an American citizen, or an American company; or alternatively, if those committing the offense are either U.S. citizens or U.S. companies, they are covered as well. The location of the offense in such circumstances anywhere in the world should not be a bar to U.S. jurisdiction over these crimes that may well threaten international stability and order today. The threat in such cases justifies this extraordinary criminal remedy.
- The bill also adds new forms of nuclear material to the coverage of our criminal laws as relates to prohibited transactions in explosives and dangerous materials, particularly nuclear byproduct material. It closes any possible loopholes under which those black market criminals might claim protection under U.S. law with regard to these dangerous nuclear materials, for example byproduct materials, including certain radioactive isotopes created in the operation of a nuclear reactor or accelerator, source, and/or other special nuclear materials.
- If these criminals may be dealing in, or contemplating dealing in such dangerous nuclear related materials in this unstable and uncertain time in the former Soviet Union, they will be covered by United States law under my new bill. Any possible loophole, will be closed.
- Accordingly I urge my colleagues to support this urgently needed legislation. I invite my colleagues to join me in helping American law enforcement take on the newest dangers from the nuclear terrorist threat, which we must face in this new and sometimes more dangerous, post-cold-war era.
- I ask that the full text of this bill be printed at this point in the Record.
- Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
- This Act may be cited as the `Nuclear Terrorism Jurisdiction Extension and Control Act of 1995'.
- SEC. 2. NUCLEAR TERRORISM JURISDICTION.
- (a) Extraterritorial Jurisdiction.--Paragraph (2) of section 831(c) of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
- `(2) one of the persons who committed, or is charged with committing, the offense is a United States person, or the offense is committed against a governmental entity or a United States person;'.
- (b) Definition of United States Person.--Section 832(f) of title 18, United States Code, is amended--
- (1) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (3) and inserting `; and'; and
- (2) by adding at the end the following:
- `(4) the term `United States person' means:
- `(A) a national of the United States (as defined in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act); or
- `(B) a corporation organized under the laws of the United States, or of any State, district, commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States.'.
- (c) Clarification of Covered Types of Nuclear Material.--Section 831(f)(2) of title 18, United States Code, is amended:
- (1) by striking `or' at the end of subparagraph (C);
- (2) by striking `and' at the end of subparagraph (D); and
- (3) by adding at the end the following:
- `(E) byproduct material, source material, or special nuclear material, as such terms are defined in section 11 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954; and'.