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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Legislation advances

  • Committee approves anti-terrorism bill.
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  • Legislation that would allow the seizure of property used to support acts of terrorism has been approved unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee.
     
     
     
    House Bill 2851, by state Rep. Dan Fisher, would make property used in or derived from violations of the Oklahoma Antiterrorism Act subject to forfeiture. The bill also allows a person injured as a result of a criminal offense under the Oklahoma Antiterrorism Act or law enforcement agency or other governmental agency that participated in an investigation under the Oklahoma Antiterrorism Act to file a claim for costs or damages against such seized property.
     
     
     
    “Regrettably, with modern terrorism becoming more and more a part of our culture, a law of this type is necessary to aggressively prosecute terrorists who intend to destroy our liberties,” said Fisher, R-El Reno. “Additionally, since our federal government increasingly refuses to prosecute terrorists as such, we must provide our state law enforcement officials with the legal tools to do so.”
     
     
     
    State Rep. John Bennett, a co-author and the chair of the Counterterrorism Caucus of the Oklahoma Legislature, praised the committee’s passage of the legislation.
     
     
     
    “On behalf of the Counterterrorism Caucus, I want to thank all the committee members for proving their commitment to protecting Oklahoma from terrorist by voting in favor of such an important bill,” said Bennett, R-Sallisaw. “This bill will give authority to the state attorney general to prosecute any terrorist or terrorist supporting agency and allow for forfeiture of their assets.”
     
     
     
    Bennett said when Nadal Hasan shot up a military base in Texas, the federal government defined it as “workplace violence” and the Texas state attorney general was unable to prosecute under state law due to that classification.
     
     
     
    “This bill will allow our state attorney general to take care of our citizens and not only prosecute the terrorist, but also seize the assets or finances of the terrorist or organization,” Bennett said. “The money will go to the law enforcement organizations involved and the victims or victims’ families will be able to receive a financial judgment in the case.”

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