[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book I)]
[May 3, 1995]
[Pages 633-634]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]



Message to the Congress Transmitting Proposed Legislation To Combat 
Terrorism
May 3, 1995

To the Congress of the United States:
    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

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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 explosives.
     Require the inclusion of taggants in standard explosive 
device raw materials after the publication of implementing regulations 
by the Secretary of the Treasury.
     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 
section-by-section analysis.
    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.

                                                      William J. Clinton

The White House,

May 3, 1995.