LTTE LINKED ATTEMPT TO CHALLENGE US LAW ON FOREIGN TERRORIST GROUPS FAILS IN FEDERAL APPEALS COURT 9TH CIRCUIT
Posted on August 25th, 2009

By Walter Jayawardhana

An attempt by the Humanitarian law Project, an organization that consists of two listed terrorist organizations, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and Kurdistan Workers Party to do away the executive powers of the US President to list certain organizations as foreign terrorist groups was foiled by the 9th US circuit of Appeals.

The court, in San Francisco, decided in 2-1 majority decision the law regulates conduct, not speech and therefore does not violate the US constitution as the petition lawyers argued, court documents show.

The court said, “There is no right to provide resources with which terrorists can buy weapons and explosives.”

According to the court decision the current law that allows United States Presidents to designate certain violent foreign groups as terrorist organizations and freeze their assets, and prevent any aid contributed to them was upheld.

Originally a law enacted by Congress in 1977 to impose economic sanctions against foreign nations considered a threat to national security called The International Emergency Economic Powers Act was used by Presidents. The Same law, in 2001, during the regime of President George W. Bush was used to issue executive orders to designate foreign terrorist groups and freeze their assets. Under the executive orders anybody who gives aid to any of the listed terrorist groups will pay twice the money as what is given to the terrorist group or a fine of $250,000 as penalty.

In Los Angeles the law was challenged by Humanitarian law Project that was supported by the LTTE and the KPP. At the initial stages the petition succeeded but the US government appealed against the decision.

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