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Saturday, 2 July 2016

New York gains approval for the nation's first 'suspected terrorist registry'

Bonnie Kristian

Following the Orlando nightclub shooting, New York's state senate passed a bill it's touting as a "Historic First-Ever State Terrorist Registry Proposed to Protect the Number One Terrorist Target in the United States - New York."

The basic concept is a lot like a sex offender registry, only for suspected terrorists:

Registrants would be required to complete a standardized registration form and law enforcement agencies would collect a current photograph, fingerprints and a DNA sample....

The New York State Terrorist Registry would be made available to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

And like the Sex Offender Registry, the non-confidential information of each registrant, would be available to the public.
Now, the bill's cosponsors are telling the press the registry will only include those who have been convicted of an act of terrorism. "This would give local law enforcement the tools that they need so that they are aware if there is somebody in their community that has been convicted of terrorism who still may be a threat to the safety and security of Americans," said State Senator Cathy Young, one of the cosponsors.

But the text of the legislation itself seems to say otherwise.

In subdivision one, the bill spells out not one but two ways to get on the terrorist registry:

"Terrorist" means any person who is convicted of any terrorist offense set forth in subdivision two of this section, and/or who has engaged in any verifiable act of terrorism pursuant to subdivision three of this section.
So the first way is precisely what Young says it is: a conviction for terrorism.

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