WHAT IS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION?

The 9TH Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided to permit “Mr. Budiono” to remain in the U.S.   While making this decision, the court also decided what is NOT a “terrorist organization”.

Mr. Budiono is a citizen of Indonesia who came to the U.S. in 2000 and applied for Political Asylum in 2003. The basis for his claim was that he used to be an active member of a certain local group which acted like a “self-help” social organization in Indonesia. But when this group became militantly Islamic, he disagreed with their aims and methods and quit. In retaliation, members of the group came to his house and beat him up and abused his wife. Now he is afraid to return to Indonesia, in fear of this group.

After many procedural twists and turns, the case of Mr. Budiono arrived in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Two of the three judges hearing Mr. Budiono’s appeal decided that even though he provided “material support” to this group, the U.S. government did not have any proof that this was a “terrorist organization”. Why not? Because they did not use “any…explosive, firearm, or other weapons or dangerous device” to further their goals. Just BEATING up people did not make this group a “terrorist organization”. (The third judge on this panel did not agree.)

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