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CRM 1-499

12. Terrorist Acts Abroad Against U.S. Nationals (18 U.S.C. 2332)

On August 28, 1986, the President signed Public Law No. 99-399, the Omnibus Diplomatic Security and Antiterrorism Act of 1986. Section 1202 of the Act created a new section 2331 of Title 18, U.S.C., (now codified as 18 U.S.C. § 2332) which makes it a Federal crime for a terrorist overseas to kill a United States national, attempt to murder a United States national, conspire to murder a United States national, or to engage in physical violence with the intent to cause serious bodily injury to a United States national or with the result that serious bodily injury is caused to a United States national. Prosecution for any offense under § 2332 requires the written certification of the Attorney General, or the highest ranking subordinate of the Attorney General with responsibility for criminal prosecutions, that, in the judgment of that official, the offense was intended to coerce, intimidate, or retaliate against a government or a civilian population.