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Press Release: JINSA Applauds Supreme Court Decision Upholding Law Preventing Aid to Terrorist Groups

(Washington, D.C.) – The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) applauds the decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the law that prohibits Americans from providing "material support" to groups designated by the State Department as "foreign terrorist organizations."

The case, Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project (HLP), was decided in a 6-3 decision on Monday. JINSA had participated in an amicus brief in cooperation with the Washington Legal Foundation. Also signing onto the brief were four retired flag officers and two other organizations, the National Defense Committee and the Allied Educational Foundation.

The court agreed with the brief and upheld the existing law, which has its roots in the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) and is further expressed in the USA Patriot Act. The decision was a victory for the signers of the amicus and the American people. The case, which challenged the constitutionality of the aforementioned federal law that makes it a crime to provide "material support" to a group that has been designated as a "foreign terrorist organization" by the State Department, was brought by the Humanitarian Law Project and several of its individual supporters.

JINSA Executive Director Tom Neumann said, "The current ban on providing aid to designated terrorist groups is a cornerstone of U.S. efforts to defeat terrorist groups and a force for changing the policies of those states that harbor and support them. The HLP contention that aid to terrorist organizations could be designated for humanitarian or political purposes is specious since all moneys are fungible." The court rejected that argument as well as the argument that the right to support terrorist is a first amendment right.

The Court's decision reaffirms the illegality of the HLP's stated efforts to provide aid to the PKK (Kurdistan Worker's Party) and the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), both designated by the State Department as foreign terrorist entities.

Neumann noted that groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah are also denied financial support from the United States by the law. "Had the Court struck down the law, undeniably America would be less safe. We are gratified that the Supreme Court of the United States recognized the imperative need to safeguard American lives."

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JINSA is a national, independent, non-profit, non-partisan, non-sectarian educational organization established in 1976 to educate the public on national and international security issues, including the importance of an effective U.S. defense capability and the key role of strategic allies, including Israel, to promote democratic values in the Middle East.

Jewish Institute for National Security of America
1101 14th Street, NW, Suite 1110
Washington, D.C. 20005

(202) 667-3900 Office • info@jinsa.org