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House Passes Posey’s Bipartisan Legislation to Provide Justice for American Victims of Terrorism

Today the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation first introduced by Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) to protect American victims of international terrorism and ensure access to compensation for those impacted by acts of terror. The Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act of 2018 (H.R. 5954), modeled after Posey’s CAPTIVE Act (H.R. 1292), makes reforms to the Antiterrorism Act of 1992 to better ensure that American victims of international terrorism can obtain justice in U.S. courts.

“More and more terrorist groups are financed by revenue from the global drug trade. This common sense bill is an important step forward in holding them accountable and providing justice to their American victims,” said Congressman Posey. “I would like to thank Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Nadler and all of our cosponsors for their support of this effort.”

On February 13, 2003, four Americans on a U.S. Government counter-narcotics mission were captured by the FARC, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in Colombia that controls the majority of the world’s cocaine traffic. The pilot, Tom Janis, was executed at the crash site. The three survivors (Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell, and Tom Howes) were held captive in the jungle for five and a half years.

These Americans obtained a judgment under the Anti-Terrorism Act for damages against the FARC to compensate them for the terrible acts they experienced during their captivity and the execution of one American. However, there are no FARC assets in the U.S. except for drug monies of FARC agents – the traffickers and money launderers - which now sit in accounts that have been blocked under the Kingpin Act. The Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act would finally close a loophole to allow these former hostages and the family of Tom Janis access to the assets of narcotics trafficking partners.

A bipartisan companion bill (S. 2946) introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) along with Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) is moving through the Senate.

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