New York State Law

Penal Law

Consolidated Laws of New York's Penal code

  Search Penal Laws

Article 490 - NY Penal Law

TERRORISM

Section Offense Class
490.00 Legislative findings.  
490.01 Liability protection.  
490.05 Definitions.  
490.10 Soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the second degree. D FELONY
490.15 Soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the first degree. C FELONY
490.20 Making a terroristic threat. D FELONY
490.25 Crime of terrorism. A-I FELONY
490.30 Hindering prosecution of terrorism in the second degree. C FELONY
490.35 Hindering prosecution of terrorism in the first degree. B FELONY
490.37 Criminal possession of a chemical weapon or biological weapon in the third degree. C FELONY
490.40 Criminal possession of a chemical weapon or biological weapon in the second degree. B FELONY
490.45 Criminal possession of a chemical weapon or biological weapon in the first degree. A-I FELONY
490.47 Criminal use of a chemical weapon or biological weapon in third degree. B FELONY
490.50 Criminal use of a chemical weapon or biological weapon in second degree. A-II FELONY
490.55 Criminal use of a chemical weapon or biological weapon in first degree. A-I FELONY
490.70 Limitations.  
 S 490.00 Legislative findings.
  The devastating consequences of 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, will forever
serve to remind us that terrorism is a serious and deadly problem that
disrupts public order and threatens individual safety both at home and
around the world. Terrorism is inconsistent with civilized society and
cannot be tolerated.
  Although certain federal laws seek to curb the incidence of terrorism,
there are no corresponding state laws that facilitate the prosecution
and punishment of terrorists in state courts. Inexplicably, there is
also no criminal penalty in this state for a person who solicits or
raises funds for, or provides other material support or resources to,
those who commit or encourage the commission of horrific and cowardly
acts of terrorism. Nor do our criminal laws proscribe the making of
terrorist threats or punish with appropriate severity those who hinder
the prosecution of terrorists. Finally, our death penalty statute must
be strengthened so that the cold-blooded execution of an individual for
terrorist purposes is a capital offense.
  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.

S 490.01 Liability protection.
  1.  Any person who makes a qualified disclosure of suspicious behavior
shall be immune from civil and criminal  liability  for  reporting  such
behavior.
  2.  For  purposes of this article, "qualified disclosure of suspicious
behavior" means any  disclosure  of  allegedly  suspicious  behavior  of
another  individual  or  individuals  to any person that is made in good
faith and with the  reasonable  belief  that  such  suspicious  behavior
constitutes, is indicative of, or is in furtherance of a crime or an act
of terrorism.
  3.  An  action  alleging that a statement or disclosure by a person of
any suspicious transaction, activity or occurrence  indicating  that  an
individual  may  be  engaging  in  or  preparing to engage in suspicious
behavior which constitutes, is indicative of, or is in furtherance of, a
crime or an act of terrorism was not made in good  faith  and  with  the
reasonable   belief   that  such  suspicious  behavior  constitutes,  is
indicative of, or is in furtherance of, a crime or an act  of  terrorism
must  be  pled  with  particularity  pursuant to subdivision (b) of rule
three thousand sixteen of the civil practice law and rules.

S 490.05 Definitions.
 As used in this article, the following terms shall mean and include:
  1. "Act of terrorism":
  (a)  for  purposes of this article means an act or acts constituting a
specified offense as defined in subdivision three of  this  section  for
which  a  person  may  be convicted in the criminal courts of this state
pursuant to article twenty of the criminal procedure law, or an  act  or
acts constituting an offense in any other jurisdiction within or outside
the  territorial  boundaries  of the United States which contains all of
the essential elements of a specified offense, that is intended to:
  (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
  (ii) influence the policy of a unit of government by  intimidation  or
coercion; or
  (iii)   affect  the  conduct  of  a  unit  of  government  by  murder,
assassination or kidnapping; or
  (b)  for  purposes  of  subparagraph  (xiii)  of  paragraph   (a)   of
subdivision  one of section 125.27 of this chapter means activities that
involve a violent act or acts  dangerous  to  human  life  that  are  in
violation of the criminal laws of this state and are intended to:
  (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
  (ii)  influence  the policy of a unit of government by intimidation or
coercion; or
  (iii)  affect  the  conduct  of  a  unit  of  government  by   murder,
assassination or kidnapping.
  2.  "Material  support or resources" means currency or other financial
securities, financial services,  lodging,  training,  safehouses,  false
documentation  or  identification, communications equipment, facilities,
weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel,  transportation,  and
other physical assets, except medicine or religious materials.
  3.  (a) "Specified offense" for purposes of this article means a class
A felony offense other than an offense as defined in article two hundred
twenty,  a  violent  felony  offense  as  defined  in   section   70.02,
manslaughter in the second degree as defined in section 125.15, criminal
tampering  in  the  first  degree as defined in section 145.20, identity
theft in the second degree as defined in section 190.79, identity  theft
in the first degree as defined in section 190.80, unlawful possession of
personal  identification  information in the second degree as defined in
section  190.82,  unlawful   possession   of   personal   identification
information  in  the  first  degree  as defined in section 190.83, money
laundering in support of terrorism in the fourth degree  as  defined  in
section  470.21,  money  laundering in support of terrorism in the third
degree as defined in section 470.22,  money  laundering  in  support  of
terrorism  in  the  second  degree  as  defined in section 470.23, money
laundering in support of terrorism in the first  degree  as  defined  in
section 470.24 of this chapter, and includes an attempt or conspiracy to
commit any such offense.
  (b)   Notwithstanding   the   provisions  of  paragraph  (a)  of  this
subdivision, a specified offense shall not mean an  offense  defined  in
sections  490.37,  490.40,  490.45,  490.47,  490.50, and 490.55 of this
article, nor shall a specified offense mean an  attempt  to  commit  any
such offense.
  4.  "Renders  criminal assistance" for purposes of sections 490.30 and
490.35 of this article shall have the same meaning as in section  205.50
of this chapter.
  5.  "Biological  agent"  means  any  micro-organism, virus, infectious
substance, or biological product that may be engineered as a  result  of
biotechnology,  or any naturally occurring or bioengineered component of
 any such micro-organism,  virus,  infectious  substance,  or  biological
product, capable of causing:
  (a)  death,  disease,  or  other biological malfunction in a human, an
animal, a plant, or another living organism;
  (b) deterioration of food, water, equipment, supplies, or material  of
any kind; or
  (c) deleterious alteration of the environment.
  6.   "Toxin"   means   the   toxic   material   of   plants,  animals,
micro-organisms,  viruses,  fungi,  or  infectious  substances,   or   a
recombinant  molecule,  whatever  its  origin  or  method of production,
including:
  (a)  any  poisonous  substance  or  biological  product  that  may  be
engineered  as  a result of biotechnology produced by a living organism;
  or
  (b) any poisonous isomer or biological product, homolog, or derivative
of such a substance.
  7. "Delivery system" means:
  (a)  any  apparatus,  equipment,  device,   or   means   of   delivery
specifically  designed  to  deliver  or  disseminate a biological agent,
toxin, or vector; or
  (b) any vector.
  8.  "Vector"  means  a  living  organism,  or  molecule,  including  a
recombinant  molecule, or biological product that may be engineered as a
result of biotechnology, capable of carrying a biological agent or toxin
to a host.
  9. "Biological weapon" means any biological agent, toxin,  vector,  or
delivery system or combination thereof.
  10. "Chemical weapon" means the following, together or separately:
  (a) a toxic chemical or its precursors;
  (b) a munition or device specifically designed to cause death or other
harm through the toxic properties of a toxic chemical or its precursors,
which  would  be released as a result of the employment of such munition
or device;
  (c) any equipment specifically designed for use directly in connection
with the employment of munitions or devices; or
  (d) any device that is designed to release radiation or  radioactivity
at a level dangerous to human life.
  11.  "Precursor"  means  any  chemical reactant that takes part at any
stage in  the  production  by  whatever  method  of  a  toxic  chemical,
including  any  key  component  of  a  binary or multicomponent chemical
system,  and  includes  precursors  which  have  been   identified   for
application  of verification measures under article VI of the convention
in schedules contained in the annex on chemicals of the chemical weapons
convention.
  12. "Key component of a  binary  or  multicomponent  chemical  system"
means  the  precursor which plays the most important role in determining
the toxic properties of the final product and reacts rapidly with  other
chemicals in the binary or multicomponent system.
  13.  "Toxic  chemical"  means  any chemical which through its chemical
action on life processes can cause death,  serious  physical  injury  or
permanent  harm  to  humans  or  animals,  including all such chemicals,
regardless of their  origin  or  of  their  method  of  production,  and
regardless  of  whether they are produced in facilities, in munitions or
elsewhere, and includes toxic chemicals which have  been  identified  by
the  commissioner  of health and included on the list of toxic chemicals
pursuant to subdivision twenty of section two hundred six of the  public
health law.
   14. The terms "biological agent", "toxin", and "toxic chemical" do not
include  any  biological  agent,  toxin or toxic chemical that is in its
naturally occurring environment, if the biological agent, toxin or toxic
chemical has not been cultivated, collected, or otherwise extracted from
its natural source.
  15.  "Select  chemical  agent"  shall mean a chemical weapon which has
been identified  in  regulations  promulgated  pursuant  to  subdivision
twenty of section two hundred six of the public health law.
  16. "Select biological agent" shall mean a biological weapon which has
been  identified  in  regulations  promulgated  pursuant  to subdivision
twenty-one of section two hundred six of the public health law.
  17. "Chemical weapons convention" and "convention" mean the convention
on the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling  and  use
of  chemical  weapons  and on their destruction, opened for signature on
January thirteenth, nineteen hundred ninety-three.

S 490.10 Soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the
               second degree.
  A person commits soliciting or providing support for an act of
terrorism in the second degree when, with intent that material support
or resources will be used, in whole or in part, to plan, prepare, carry
out or aid in either an act of terrorism or the concealment of, or an
escape from, an act of terrorism, he or she raises, solicits, collects
or provides material support or resources.
  Soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the second degree
 is a class D felony.

S 490.15 Soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the
               first degree.
  A person commits soliciting or providing support for an act of
terrorism in the first degree when he or she commits the crime of
soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the second
degree and the total value of material support or resources exceeds one
thousand dollars.
  Soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the first degree
 is a class C felony.

S 490.20 Making a terroristic threat.
  1. A person is guilty of making a terroristic threat when with intent
to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a
unit of government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of
a unit of government by murder, assassination or kidnapping, he or she
threatens to commit or cause to be committed a specified offense and
thereby causes a reasonable expectation or fear of the imminent
commission of such offense.
  2. It shall be no defense to a prosecution pursuant to this section
that the defendant did not have the intent or capability of committing
the specified offense or that the threat was not made to a person who
was a subject thereof.
  Making a terroristic threat is a class D felony.

S 490.25 Crime of terrorism.
  1. A person is guilty of a crime of terrorism when, with intent to
intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a
unit of government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of
a unit of government by murder, assassination or kidnapping, he or she
commits a specified offense.
  2. Sentencing.
  (a) When a person is convicted of a crime of terrorism pursuant to
this section, and the specified offense is a class B, C, D or E felony
offense, the crime of terrorism shall be deemed a violent felony
offense.
  (b) When a person is convicted of a crime of terrorism pursuant to
this section, and the specified offense is a class C, D or E felony
offense, the crime of terrorism shall be deemed to be one category
higher than the specified offense the defendant committed, or one
category higher than the offense level applicable to the defendant`s
conviction for an attempt or conspiracy to commit the offense, whichever
is applicable.
  (c) When a person is convicted of a crime of terrorism pursuant to
this section, and the specified offense is a class B felony offense, the
crime of terrorism shall be deemed a class A-I felony offense and the
sentence imposed upon conviction of such offense shall be in accordance
with section 70.00 of this chapter.
  (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, when a person is
convicted of a crime of terrorism pursuant to this section, and the
specified offense is a class A-I felony offense, the sentence upon
conviction of such offense shall be life imprisonment without parole;
provided, however, that nothing herein shall preclude or prevent a
sentence of death when the specified offense is murder in the first
degree as defined in section 125.27 of this chapter.

S 490.30 Hindering prosecution of terrorism in the second degree.
  A person is guilty of hindering prosecution of terrorism in the second
degree when he or she renders criminal assistance to a person who has
committed an act of terrorism, knowing or believing that such person
engaged in conduct constituting an act of terrorism.
  Hindering prosecution of terrorism in the second degree
is a class C felony.

S 490.35 Hindering prosecution of terrorism in the first degree.
  A person is guilty of hindering prosecution of terrorism in the first
degree when he or she renders criminal assistance to a person who has
committed an act of terrorism that resulted in the death of a person
other than one of the participants, knowing or believing that such
person engaged in conduct constituting an act of terrorism.
  Hindering prosecution of terrorism in the first degree is a class B felony.

S 490.37 Criminal  possession  of a chemical weapon or biological weapon
               in the third degree.
  A person is guilty of criminal possession  of  a  chemical  weapon  or
biological  weapon  in  the  third  degree  when he or she possesses any
select chemical agent or select  biological  agent  under  circumstances
evincing  an intent by the defendant to use such weapon to cause serious
physical injury or death to another person.
  Criminal possession of a chemical weapon or biological weapon in
the third degree is a class C felony.

S 490.40 Criminal  possession  of a chemical weapon or biological weapon
               in the second degree.
  A person is guilty of criminal possession  of  a  chemical  weapon  or
biological  weapon  in  the  second  degree when he or she possesses any
chemical weapon or biological weapon with intent to use such weapon to:
  1. (a) cause serious physical injury to,  or  the  death  of,  another
person; and
  (b) (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
  (ii)  influence  the policy of a unit of government by intimidation or
coercion; or
  (iii)  affect  the  conduct  of  a  unit  of  government  by   murder,
assassination, or kidnapping.
  2.  cause  serious  physical injury to, or the death of, more than two
persons.
  Criminal possession of a chemical weapon or biological weapon in the
second degree is a class B felony.

S 490.45 Criminal possession of a chemical weapon or biological weapon
               in the first degree.
  A person is guilty of criminal possession  of  a  chemical  weapon  or
biological weapon in the first degree when he or she possesses:
  1. any select chemical agent, with intent to use such agent to:
  (a) cause serious physical injury to, or the death of, another person;
and
  (b) (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
  (ii)  influence  the policy of a unit of government by intimidation or
coercion; or
  (iii)  affect the conduct of a unit of government by  murder,
assassination, or kidnapping.
  2.  any  select chemical agent, with intent to use such agent to cause
serious physical injury to, or the death of, more than two  other
persons; or
  3. any select biological agent, with intent to use such agent to cause
serious physical injury to, or the death of, another person.
  Criminal  possession  of a chemical weapon or biological weapon in
the first degree is a class A-I felony.

S 490.47 Criminal  use  of a chemical weapon or biological weapon in the
               third degree.
  A person is guilty of criminal use of a chemical weapon or  biological
weapon in the third degree when, under circumstances evincing a depraved
indifference to human life, he or she uses, deploys, releases, or causes
to  be  used,  deployed, or released any select chemical agent or select
biological agent, and thereby creates a grave risk of death  or  serious
physical injury to another person not a participant in the crime.
  Criminal  use  of  a chemical weapon or biological weapon in the third
degree is a class B felony.

S 490.50 Criminal use of a chemical weapon or biological weapon
               in the second degree.
  A person is guilty of criminal use of a chemical weapon or  biological
weapon  in  the second degree when he or she uses, deploys, releases, or
causes to be  used,  deployed,  or  released,  any  chemical  weapon  or
biological weapon, with intent to:
  1.  cause serious physical injury to, or the death of, another person;
and
  2. (a) intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
  (b) influence the policy of a unit of government by intimidation  or
coercion; or
  (c)  to  affect  the  conduct of a unit of  government by murder,
assassination, or kidnapping.
  Criminal use of a chemical weapon or biological weapon in the
second degree is a class A-II felony.

S 490.55 Criminal use of a chemical weapon or biological weapon in the
               first degree.
  A person is guilty of criminal use of a chemical weapon or  biological
weapon in the first degree when:
  1. with intent to:
  (a) cause serious physical injury to, or the death of, another person;
and
  (b) (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
  (ii)  influence  the policy of a unit of government by intimidation or
coercion; or
  (iii)  affect  the  conduct  of  a  unit  of  government  by   murder,
assassination, or kidnapping;
he  or  she  uses, deploys, releases, or causes to be used, deployed, or
released any select chemical agent and thereby causes  serious  physical
injury  to,  or the death of, another person who is not a participant in
the crime.
  2. with intent to cause serious physical injury to, or the  death  of,
more  than  two persons, he or she uses, deploys, releases, or causes to
be used, deployed, or released any select  chemical  agent  and  thereby
causes  serious  physical  injury  to,  or  the  death of, more than two
persons who are not participants in the crime; or
  3. with intent to cause serious physical injury to, or the  death  of,
another person, he or she uses, deploys, releases, or causes to be used,
deployed,  or  released  any  select biological agent and thereby causes
serious physical injury to, or the death of, another person who is not a
participant in the crime.
  Criminal use of a chemical weapon or biological weapon in the
first degree is a class A-I felony.

S 490.70 Limitations.
  1.  The provisions of sections 490.37, 490.40, 490.45, 490.47, 490.50,
and 490.55 of this article shall not apply where the defendant possessed
or used:
  (a) any household product generally available for sale to consumers in
this state in the quantity and concentration available for such sale;
  (b) a self-defense spray device in accordance with the  provisions  of
paragraph fourteen of subdivision a of section 265.20 of this chapter;
  (c)  a  chemical weapon solely for a purpose not prohibited under this
chapter, as long as the type and quantity  is  consistent  with  such  a
purpose; or
  (d)   a  biological  agent,  toxin,  or  delivery  system  solely  for
prophylactic,  protective,  bona  fide  research,  or   other   peaceful
purposes.
  2.  For  the  purposes  of  this  section,  the  phrase  "purposes not
prohibited by this chapter" means the following:
  (a) any peaceful  purpose  related  to  an  industrial,  agricultural,
research,   medical,   or  pharmaceutical  activity  or  other  peaceful
activity;
  (b) any purpose directly related to protection against toxic chemicals
and to protection against chemical weapons;
  (c) any military purpose of the United States that  is  not  connected
with the use of a chemical weapon or that is not dependent on the use of
the  toxic or poisonous properties of the chemical weapon to cause death
or other harm; and
  (d) any law enforcement purpose, including any domestic  riot  control
purpose and including imposition of capital punishment.

Top of Page

Penal Law - Table of Contents

Penal Law Index | Article Index | Penal Offenses | Search Phrases | Popular Articles | Law Terms
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | 01 | 05 | 10 | 15 | 20 | 25 | 30 | 35 | 40 | 55 | 60 | 65 | 70 | 80 | 85 | 100 | 105 | 110 | 115 | 120 | 121 | 125 | 130 | 135 | 140 | 145 | 150 | 155 | 156 | 158 | 160 | 165 | 170 | 175 | 176 | 177 | 178 | 179 | 180 | 185 | 187 | 190 | 195 | 200 | 205 | 210 | 215 | 220 | 221 | 225 | 230 | 235 | 240 | 241 | 242 | 245 | 250 | 255 | 260 | 263 | 265 | 270 | 275 | 400 | 405 | 410 | 415 | 420 | 450 | 460 | 470 | 480 | 485 | 490 | 496 | 500

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this site is accurate and current, readers should consult with a qualified attorney before acting on any such information. No liability is assumed by YPDcrime.com for any losses suffered directly or indirectly by any person relying on the information because its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.