Our government is rightfully concerned about the dangers to our country posed by unscrupulous, amoral terrorists. However, such laws as the Patriot Act, regulations surrounding doing business with individuals and entities referred to on lists kept by the Office of Foreign Asset Control, and breathtakingly broad criminal statutes such as federal law precluding material aid to terrorism can make any citizen or visitor to the United States vulnerable to prosecution under so-called anti-terrorism laws. Often, the government need not establish any actual intent to assist a terrorist group. It may be enough for an over zealous prosecutor to allege that someone knows a group is actually deemed an unlawful organization and, knowing this, has arranged a contribution, provided educational opportunity or medical benefits without even intending to assist terrorists – and yet that person may face indictment and be branded a terrorist.
At Charles A. Ross and Associates we have selectively become involved in the defense of individuals charged in terrorism cases. The measure of a free society is the degree to which the rights of individuals are safeguarded. Terrorism laws unfortunately often seem to spring from the dangerous notion that the end justify the means. Unless the rights of even the most unpopular and despised individuals are zealously preserved and maintained, each of us is less safe. That is why we believe it is our duty to zealously represent the rights of select individuals charged in terrorism cases.