What Constitutes a Terrorist Threat?


Quick Answer

A terrorist threat is a threat of violence that is communicated by someone with the intention of terrorizing others. The threat is credible enough to warrant action from the victim, such as evacuating a building.

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Full Answer

A terrorist threat does not have to be against a person. It can also be against property. An example of a terrorist threat is a threat to impair the water and power sources for a city. Terrorist threats can occur at the state and federal levels. A threat can be used to help prosecute other cases, such as domestic violence, school violence and hate crimes. In some states, the word “terrorist” has been exchanged for “criminal.” At the state level, there are various interpretations of terrorist threat laws.

Terrorist threat laws exist in every state. Some states have additional requirements for a threat to be considered. For instance, in Missouri, the threat has to be directed at more than 10 people. At the federal level, a threat of mass destruction and false bombs is considered to be a terrorist threat. A person can be charged at both the state and federal levels for a terrorist threat. Double jeopardy does not apply because the state and federal government are considered to be separate sovereigns.

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