The use of violence, or putting the public or any section of it in fear, for political purposes. The Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978, which applies only to Northern Ireland, contains detailed provisions for questioning, searching, arresting, and trying suspected terrorists; it also creates special offences relating to terrorism. The Act defines a terrorist as a person who is or has been concerned with committing or attempting to commit any act of terrorism or directing, organizing, or training people for the purpose of terrorism.
The 1978 Suppression of Terrorism Act brings into force in English law the provisions of the 1977 European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism. It provides that a large number of offences often committed by terrorists are not to be treated as offences of a political nature, so that persons suspected of having committed them are liable to extradition under the relevant Acts. Offences under the Explosive Substances Act 1883 and indictable offences under the Firearms Act 1968 are also made extraditable offences. The Act also gives jurisdiction to the English courts to try specified terrorist offences committed abroad in a Convention country and also provides safeguards for wanted criminals who, if extradited, might suffer on account of their race, religion, nationality, or political opinions.
See also *hijacking; *hostage; *proscribed organization.
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