I read this off of Bruce Scheiner’s blog today and I thought it was very interesting for those of you whole like legal, security, and pirate matters. It’s a little talk about how to classify terrorists, so we get rid of much of the ambiguity that exists in the US concerning their legal status, and how by classifying terrorists as pirates, other not-so-friendly states would be pressured to give them up.

That goes for you too Bert!

Read on, hope you find this interesting – and of course, thoughts are always welcome.

First, the crime of terrorism would be defined and proscribed internationally, and terrorists would be properly understood as enemies of all states. This legal status carries significant advantages, chief among them the possibility of universal jurisdiction. Terrorists, as hostis humani generis, could be captured wherever they were found, by anyone who found them. Pirates are currently the only form of criminals subject to this special jurisdiction.

Second, this definition would deter states from harboring terrorists on the grounds that they are “freedom fighters” by providing an objective distinction in law between legitimate insurgency and outright terrorism.

Third, and perhaps most important, nations that now balk at assisting the United States in the war on terror might have fewer reservations if terrorism were defined as an international crime that could be prosecuted before the International Criminal Court.

Full story here.


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