As noted in the legislative findings of Article 490 New York Penal Law, terrorism legislation came about as the result of many different terrorist actions, including the “recent barbaric attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon underscore the compelling need for legislation that is specifically designed to combat the evils of terrorism. Indeed, the bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, Pan Am Flight number 103 in Lockerbie in 1988, the 1997 shooting atop the Empire State Building, the 1994 murder of Ari Habersham on the Brooklyn Bridge and the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.”
All acts related to terrorism are classified as felonies with many being class A-I felonies. Both criminal use of a chemical weapon or biological weapon in the first degree and criminal possession of a chemical weapon or biological weapon in the first degree are class A-I felonies.
Soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the second degree is classified as a class D felony, while doing so in the first degree is a class C felony. Thus, any type of aid regarding the planning or committing of a terrorist act is unlawful. Making a threat of terrorism, which is a class D felony, is also an extremely serious offense. Hindering prosecution of terrorists in the second degree, which occurs when someone gives criminal assistance to a person who has engaged in a terrorist act, is a class C felony. When this unlawful act is in the first degree it is a class B felony.