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January 21, 2022

Draft law: The concept of terrorism, updated by the SRI Committee . The evaluation of the terrorist threat, change of paradigm by going from a generic threat to a concrete one

The Oversight Committee for the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) has drafted and launched in public debate a legislative proposal amending and supplementing the Law no.535/2004 on preventing and combating terrorism, in which the concept of terrorism is updated and the provisions related to this field are supplemented.

The legislative proposal is assumed by the parliamentarians who are members of the SRI Committee belonging to all the political parties and is based on the argument that “the evaluation of the terrorist threat against Romania has indicated a change of paradigm by going from a generic threat to a concrete one”.

“The main sources of terrorist risk against Romania’s security are external (…) The national territory is predominantly a place of transit or refuge, which is in the attention of the foreigners from countries of the extended Middle East, Afghanistan or Pakistan” reads the explanatory memorandum of the legislative proposal.

The draft law has the main purpose to update the concept of terrorism.

Thus, according to the definition suggested by the SRI Committee, “terrorism consists of those actions, inactions, as well as threats related to them, which have the nature of a public danger, affect life, body integrity or peoples’ health, the whole of the social relationships, material factors, international relationships of the states, national or international security, being politically, religiously or ideologically motivated”.

The purposes of the terrorist actions defined by the legislative proposal are: “Intimidating the population or a segment thereof by producing a strong psychological impact; the compulsion of a public authority or international organization to meet, not to meet, or refrain from performing a specific act; serious destabilization or destruction of the fundamental, constitutional, economic or social political structures of a state or international organization.”

On the other hand, the legislative proposal aims to raise awareness of the Romanian state in order to cover the possible damages caused by the measures taken by the public authorities in charge with managing the terrorist crisis, as well as to update the responsibilities belonging to the public authorities, legal persons or individuals of public or private law.

The legislative proposal provides that, in case of the imminence of a terrorist act or in the event of such an act on the Romanian territory, the Supreme Council of National Defense (CSAT) can issue a decision to declare the terrorist crisis, at the proposal of the SRI Director.

In this case, the National Anti-terrorism Action Center will be activated, being an interinstitutional structure directly subordinated to CSAT. The head of the CNAA will be appointed among the SRI First Deputy or the SRI Deputies, at the proposal of the SRI Director, according to the legislative proposal.

The legislative proposal expressly provides that “the national authority in the field of airborne armed attendants and of the exchange of information necessary to support their activities is SRI”, which “ensures the presence and coordination of airborne armed attendants on board of the aircrafts”.

At the same time, the legislative proposal expressly criminalizes the deeds related to participating in a group in order to commit terrorist acts, to training for terrorist purposes, to traveling abroad for terrorist purposes, to financing travels abroad for terrorist purposes, to organizing or facilitating in any other manner the travels abroad for terrorist purposes, as well as the terrorism in the nuclear field.

The legislative proposal states that “alarming, without a justified reason, by any means, directly or indirectly, of the specialized bodies to intervene in the event of danger, of the bodies with responsibilities in the field of national security or in maintaining the public order, regarding the commission of a terrorist act, is a crime and is punished by imprisonment from one year to three years or by a fine.”

According to another legislative proposal, “accessing terrorist propaganda materials repeatedly through computer systems or through other electronic communication means, committed in order to appropriate the terrorist ideology, or to learn means, techniques or modalities to commit terrorist acts, is a crime and is punished by imprisonment from 6 months to 3 years or by a fine”.

The parliamentarians in the SRI Committee also drafted a legislative proposal amending and supplementing the Law no.14/1992 on the SRI’s organization and functioning, which expressly provides the attributions of the Service in the field of preventing and combating terrorism. This legislative proposal is also subject to public debate.


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