Senator Lankford Applauds Committee Passage of Bill to Ensure Justice to US Victims of Terrorism
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today applauded the bipartisan passage of his bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Promoting Security and Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act seeks to provide justice for US victims of international terrorism while promoting the important security cooperation among US, Israeli, and Palestinian security forces.
“I’m grateful the Senate Judiciary Committee considered and passed the Promoting Security and Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act as this is vital for American victims of international terrorism as well as US security interests in the Middle East,” said Lankford. “I’ll continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to pass this bill to give victims of terrorism their day in court.”
With respect to US victims of terrorism, the bill would strengthen the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA), which Congress passed without objection last year, to restore US federal court jurisdiction over the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) for claims by Americans injured or killed by acts of terrorism overseas sponsored by the PA/PLO. The legislation affirms the fundamental principle that being part of the international community—or engaging with the United States—demands first answering for prior support for terrorist acts. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) are cosponsors of the bill.
The bill is designed to ensure access to courts for Americans who were injured or killed by acts of terrorism while abroad. Recent federal court decisions created loopholes in longstanding US anti-terrorism law, allowing certain foreign actors to evade US court jurisdiction when they support or carry out acts of terrorism against American citizens. The Promoting Security and Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act seeks to close those loopholes.