Terrorist registry bill floated

By Sadef Ali Kully

In the wake of the terrorist attacks in San Bernadino, Calif., and Paris last year, state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) has co-sponsored the New York State Terrorist Registry Act as part of a bipartisan effort to combat terrorism across the state.

The state Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs approved a package of seven proposals, including the New York state Terrorist Registry Act, designed to improve and coincide with current anti-terrorism security measures.

“The recent and horrendous attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, combined with our fortunate success in stopping some hateful events before they have had a chance to happen, points to the need to provide our law enforcement agencies and other partners in the fight against terrorism with the tools they need to keep us safe,” said Addabbo, who serves as the ranking Democratic member of the committee.

Over the past year, in Queens alone, there have been four suspects, including a juvenile, arrested and charged with plotting terrorist attacks as well as one suspect who allegedly made several attempts to join ISIS before federal investigators caught up with him, according to state and federal authorities.

The seven proposals that won Addabbo’s support are aimed at cracking down on terrorism recruitment; addressing cyber security threats; providing greater punishment for those who solicit or provide support for terrorist acts; fighting back against terror threats against police officers and establishing a New York State Terrorist Registry.

S. 3464, which Addabbo is co-sponsoring, would create a terrorist registry and watch list for those individuals who have demonstrated through their past actions, including convictions in the United States or elsewhere, that they might commit an act of terrorism. Those individuals would be required to register and be subject to monitoring.

According to a spokeswoman for state Sen. Thomas Croci (R-Long Island), who authored the New York State Terrorist Registry Act, the terrorist registry was modeled after the sex offender registry.

“It’s smart because it does not target anyone in particular,” she said. “It has to be someone who has already been convicted of the crime.”

The major difference between the sex offender registry and the New York State Terrorist Registry is a $100 fee registrants would have to pay to the state to be put on the registry. According to the state penal law, sex offenders do not pay a fee to register.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.