Today I am transmitting for your immediate consideration and
enactment the "Antiterrorism Amendments Act of 1995." This
comprehensive Act, together with the "Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of
1995," which I transmitted to the Congress on February 9, 1995, are
critically important components of my Administration's effort to combat
domestic and international terrorism.
The tragic bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City
on April 19th stands as a challenge to all Americans to preserve a safe
society. In the wake of this cowardly attack on innocent men, women,
and children, following other terrorist incidents at home and abroad
over the past several years, we must ensure that law enforcement
authorities have the legal tools and resources they need to fight
terrorism. The Antiterrorism Amendments Act of 1995 will help us to
prevent terrorism through vigorous and effective investigation and
prosecution. Major provisions of this Act would:
Permit law enforcement agencies to gain access to
financial and credit reports in antiterrorism cases,
as is currently permitted with bank records. This
would allow such agencies to track the source and
use of funds by suspected terrorists.
Apply the same legal standard in national security
cases that is currently used in other criminal cases
for obtaining permission to track telephone traffic
with "pen registers" and "trap and trace" devices.
Enable law enforcement agencies to utilize the
national security letter process to obtain records
critical to terrorism investigations from hotels,
motels, common carriers, storage facilities, and
vehicle rental facilities.
Expand the authority of law enforcement agencies to
conduct electronic surveillance, within constitutional
safeguards. Examples of this increased authority
include additions to the list of felonies that can
be used as the basis for a surveillance order, and
enhancement of law enforcement's ability to keep
pace with telecommunications technology by obtaining
multiple point wiretaps where it is impractical to
specify the number of the phone to be tapped (such
as the use of a series of cellular phones).
Require the Department of the Treasury's Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to study the inclusion
of taggants (microscopic particles) in standard
explosive device raw materials to permit tracing the
source of those materials after an explosion; whether
common chemicals used to manufacture explosives can
be rendered inert; and whether controls can be imposed
on certain basic chemicals used to manufacture other
Require the inclusion of taggants in standard
explosive device raw materials after the publication
of implementing regulations by the Secretary of the
Enable law enforcement agencies to call on the special
expertise of the Department of Defense in addressing
offenses involving chemical and biological weapons.
Make mandatory at least a 10-year penalty for
transferring firearms or explosives with knowledge
that they will be used to commit a crime of violence
and criminalize the possession of stolen explosives.
Impose enhanced penalties for terrorist attacks
against current and former Federal employees, and
their families, when the crime is committed because
of the employee's official duties.
Provide a source of funds for the digital telephony
bill, which I signed into law last year, ensuring
court-authorized law enforcement access to electronic
surveillance of digitized communications.
These proposals are described in more detail in the enclosed
The Administration is prepared to work immediately with the
Congress to enact antiterrorism legislation. My legislation will
provide an effective and comprehensive response to the threat of
terrorism, while also protecting our precious civil liberties. I urge
the prompt and favorable consideration of the Administration's
legislative proposals by the Congress.