In the aftermath of attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, Illinois legislators drafted legislation to combat terrorism. Although federal law already prohibits terrorism in a comprehensive manner, these clauses were drafted in order to complement federal provisions. However, this section is sure to note that investigations may not be initiated against anyone simply exercising their First Amendment rights.
Under the Illinois Criminal Code, the definition of terrorism is painted with a rather broad brush. Any act that is intended to cause a risk of death or great bodily harm to one or more persons qualifies as a terrorist act. Other actions, such as destroying transportation structures of endangering the water supply, also fall under this definition.
If a person commits any terrorist act with the intent to intimidate a significant portion of the civilian population, he or she could be convicted of terrorism. Terrorism is a Class X felony. If no deaths are caused, the sentence ranges from 20 years to life imprisonment; but if casualties occur, there is a mandatory term of natural life.
Need an Illinois criminal defense attorney? If you've been charged with a terrorism crime in Illinois, call our Chicago criminal defense attorneys today at (312) 466-9466 to discuss your case.
The text below comes from Article 29D of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. This law may have changed -- please read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 - Article 29D
(720 ILCS 5/29D-5)
Sec. 29D-5. Legislative findings. The devastating consequences of the barbaric attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 underscore the compelling need for legislation that is specifically designed to combat the evils of terrorism. Terrorism is inconsistent with civilized society and cannot be tolerated.
A comprehensive State law is urgently needed to complement federal laws in the fight against terrorism and to better protect all citizens against terrorist acts. Accordingly, the legislature finds that our laws must be strengthened to ensure that terrorists, as well as those who solicit or provide financial and other support to terrorists, are prosecuted and punished in State courts with appropriate severity. The legislature further finds that due to the grave nature and global reach of terrorism that a comprehensive law encompassing State criminal statutes and strong civil remedies is needed.
An investigation may not be initiated or continued for activities protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, including expressions of support or the provision of financial support for the nonviolent political, religious, philosophical, or ideological goals or beliefs of any person or group. (Source: P.A. 92-854, eff. 12-5-02.) 720 ILCS 5/29D-10
(720 ILCS 5/29D-10)
Sec. 29D-10. Definitions. As used in this Article, where not otherwise distinctly expressed or manifestly incompatible with the intent of this Article:
(a) "Computer network" means a set of related, remotely connected devices and any communications facilities including more than one computer with the capability to transmit data among them through communication facilities.
(b) "Computer" means a device that accepts, processes, stores, retrieves, or outputs data, and includes, but is not limited to, auxiliary storage and telecommunications devices.
(c) "Computer program" means a series of coded instruction or statements in a form acceptable to a computer which causes the computer to process data and supply the results of data processing.
(d) "Data" means representations of information, knowledge, facts, concepts or instructions, including program documentation, that are prepared in a formalized manner and are stored or processed in or transmitted by a computer. Data may be in any form, including but not limited to magnetic or optical storage media, punch cards, or data stored internally in the memory of a computer.
(e) "Biological products used in or in connection with agricultural production" includes, but is not limited to, seeds, plants, and DNA of plants or animals altered for use in crop or livestock breeding or production or which are sold, intended, designed, or produced for use in crop production or livestock breeding or production.
(f) "Agricultural products" means crops and livestock.
(g) "Agricultural production" means the breeding and growing of livestock and crops. (g-5) "Animal feed" means an article that is intended for use for food for animals other than humans and that is intended for use as a substantial source of nutrients in the diet of the animal, and is not limited to a mixture intended to be the sole ration of the animal. (g-10) "Contagious or infectious disease" means a specific disease designated by the Illinois Department of Agriculture as contagious or infectious under rules pertaining to the Illinois Diseased Animals Act. (g-15) "Processed food" means any food other than a raw agricultural commodity and includes any raw agricultural commodity that has been subject to processing, such as canning, cooking, freezing, dehydration, or milling. (g-20) "Raw agricultural commodity" means any food in its raw or natural state, including all fruits that are washed, colored, or otherwise treated in their unpeeled natural form prior to marketing.
(g-25) "Endangering the food supply" means to knowingly: (1) bring into this State any domestic animal that is affected with any contagious or infectious disease or any animal that has been exposed to any contagious or infectious disease;
(2) expose any animal in this State to any contagious or infectious disease;
(3) deliver any poultry that is infected with any contagious or infectious disease to any poultry producer pursuant to a production contract;
(4) except as permitted under the Insect Pest and Plant Disease Act, bring or release into this State any insect pest or expose any plant to an insect pest; or
(5) expose any raw agricultural commodity, animal feed, or processed food to any contaminant or contagious or infectious disease.
"Endangering the food supply" does not include bona fide experiments and actions related to those experiments carried on by commonly recognized research facilities or actions by agricultural producers and animal health professionals who may inadvertently contribute to the spread of detrimental biological agents while employing generally acceptable management practices.
(g-30) "Endangering the water supply" means to knowingly contaminate a public or private water well or water reservoir or any water supply of a public utility or tamper with the production of bottled or packaged water or tamper with bottled or packaged water at a retail or wholesale mercantile establishment. "Endangering the water supply" does not include contamination of a public or private well or water reservoir or any water supply of a public utility that may occur inadvertently as part of the operation of a public utility or electrical generating station.
(h) "Livestock" means animals bred or raised for human consumption.
(i) "Crops" means plants raised for: (1) human consumption, (2) fruits that are intended for human consumption, (3) consumption by livestock, and (4) fruits that are intended for consumption by livestock.
(j) "Communications systems" means any works, property, or material of any radio, telegraph, telephone, microwave, or cable line, station, or system.
(k) "Substantial damage" means monetary damage greater than $100,000.
(l) "Terrorist act" or "act of terrorism" means: (1) any act that is intended to cause or create a risk and does cause or create a risk of death or great bodily harm to one or more persons; (2) any act that disables or destroys the usefulness or operation of any communications system; (3) any act or any series of 2 or more acts committed in furtherance of a single intention, scheme, or design that disables or destroys the usefulness or operation of a computer network, computers, computer programs, or data used by any industry, by any class of business, or by 5 or more businesses or by the federal government, State government, any unit of local government, a public utility, a manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, a national defense contractor, or a manufacturer of chemical or biological products used in or in connection with agricultural production; (4) any act that disables or causes substantial damage to or destruction of any structure or facility used in or used in connection with ground, air, or water transportation; the production or distribution of electricity, gas, oil, or other fuel (except for acts that occur inadvertently and as the result of operation of the facility that produces or distributes electricity, gas, oil, or other fuel); the treatment of sewage or the treatment or distribution of water; or controlling the flow of any body of water; (5) any act that causes substantial damage to or destruction of livestock or to crops or a series of 2 or more acts committed in furtherance of a single intention, scheme, or design which, in the aggregate, causes substantial damage to or destruction of livestock or crops; (6) any act that causes substantial damage to or destruction of any hospital or any building or facility used by the federal government, State government, any unit of local government or by a national defense contractor or by a public utility, a manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, a manufacturer of chemical or biological products used in or in connection with agricultural production or the storage or processing of agricultural products or the preparation of agricultural products for food or food products intended for resale or for feed for livestock; (7) any act that causes substantial damage to any building containing 5 or more businesses of any type or to any building in which 10 or more people reside; (8) endangering the food supply; or (9) endangering the water supply.
(m) "Terrorist" and "terrorist organization" means any person who engages or is about to engage in a terrorist act with the intent to intimidate or coerce a significant portion of a civilian population.
(n) "Material support or resources" means currency or other financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, safe houses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel, transportation, any other kind of physical assets or intangible property, and expert services or expert assistance.
(o) "Person" has the meaning given in Section 2-15 of this Code and, in addition to that meaning, includes, without limitation, any charitable organization, whether incorporated or unincorporated, any professional fund raiser, professional solicitor, limited liability company, association, joint stock company, association, trust, trustee, or any group of people formally or informally affiliated or associated for a common purpose, and any officer, director, partner, member, or agent of any person.
(p) "Render criminal assistance" means to do any of the following with the intent to prevent, hinder, or delay the discovery or apprehension of, or the lodging of a criminal charge against, a person who he or she knows or believes has committed an offense under this Article or is being sought by law enforcement officials for the commission of an offense under this Article, or with the intent to assist a person in profiting or benefiting from the commission of an offense under this Article:
(1) harbor or conceal the person;
(2) warn the person of impending discovery or apprehension;
(3) provide the person with money, transportation, a weapon, a disguise, false identification documents, or any other means of avoiding discovery or apprehension;
(4) prevent or obstruct, by means of force, intimidation, or deception, anyone from performing an act that might aid in the discovery or apprehension of the person or in the lodging of a criminal charge against the person;
(5) suppress, by any act of concealment, alteration, or destruction, any physical evidence that might aid in the discovery or apprehension of the person or in the lodging of a criminal charge against the person;
(6) aid the person to protect or expeditiously profit from an advantage derived from the crime; or
(7) provide expert services or expert assistance to the person. Providing expert services or expert assistance shall not be construed to apply to: (1) a licensed attorney who discusses with a client the legal consequences of a proposed course of conduct or advises a client of legal or constitutional rights and (2) a licensed medical doctor who provides emergency medical treatment to a person whom he or she believes has committed an offense under this Article if, as soon as reasonably practicable either before or after providing such treatment, he or she notifies a law enforcement agency. (Source: P.A. 94-68, eff. 6-22-05.) 720 ILCS 5/29D-14.9
(720 ILCS 5/29D-14.9) (was 720 ILCS 5/29D-30)
Sec. 29D-14.9. Terrorism.
(a) A person commits the offense of terrorism when, with the intent to intimidate or coerce a significant portion of a civilian population:
(1) he or she knowingly commits a terrorist act as defined in Section 29D-10(1) of this Code within this State; or
(2) he or she, while outside this State, knowingly commits a terrorist act as defined in Section 29D-10(1) of this Code that takes effect within this State or produces substantial detrimental effects within this State.
(b) Sentence. Terrorism is a Class X felony. If no deaths are caused by the terrorist act, the sentence shall be a term of 20 years to natural life imprisonment; if the terrorist act caused the death of one or more persons, however, a mandatory term of natural life imprisonment shall be the sentence if the death penalty is not imposed. (Source: P.A. 96-710, eff. 1-1-10.) 720 ILCS 5/29D-15
(720 ILCS 5/29D-15)
Sec. 29D-15. (Renumbered). (Source: Renumbered by P.A. 96-710, eff. 1-1-10.) 720 ILCS 5/29D-15.1
(720 ILCS 5/29D-15.1) (was 720 ILCS 5/20.5-5)