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Understanding terrorism and its penalty

When New Jersey residents think about terrorism, they may not consider acts done by U.S. citizens. However, in some situations, terrorism can be an action done by someone inside the U.S.

While most people may think about international terrorism, terrorism can be more than an act done by a person working for an international organization. According to the FBI, certain acts can be considered domestic terrorism. These acts typically support ideologies that are considered extremist and can be social, environmental or political in nature. Additionally, these acts are usually carried out by people who are connected to movements that are based in the U.S.

Some acts of terrorism are well-known to people. FindLaw says that bombing or threatening to bomb government buildings and public transportation systems are all forms of terrorism. Someone can also commit a terroristic act if he or she threatens or tries to use weapons of mass destruction. However, other types of unlawful conduct can be connected to terrorism. People are usually not allowed to give materials to others if they can be used to commit an act of terror. Additionally, someone may experience consequences if he or she engages in a financial transaction with countries known to support terrorism.

Most of the time, people need to prove that someone had criminal intent when he or she engaged in certain behavior. If someone commits a terroristic act, however, intent is not always a factor. Committing a terroristic act is typically considered a felony offense and the usual penalty is imprisonment. The length of a prison sentence usually depends on the kind of act someone engaged in. A person who made terroristic threats may spend up to 10 years in jail, while people who destroyed property may be imprisoned for 25 years.

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