Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Making a Terrorist Threat Charge in Illinois

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Illinois Criminal Law » Making a Terrorist Threat Charge in Illinois

The crime of Making a Terrorist Threat under Illinois law is defined in 720 ILCS 5/29D-20 as follows:


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(a) A person is guilty of making a terrorist threat when, with the intent to intimidate or coerce a significant portion of a civilian population, he or she in any manner knowingly threatens to commit or threatens to cause the commission of a terrorist act as defined in Section 29D-10(1) and thereby causes a reasonable expectation or fear of the imminent commission of a terrorist act as defined in Section 29D-10(1) or of another terrorist act as defined in Section 29D-10(1).

(b) It is not a defense to a prosecution under this Section that at the time the defendant made the terrorist threat, unknown to the defendant, it was impossible to carry out the threat, nor is it a defense that the threat was not made to a person who was a subject or intended victim of the threatened act.

(c) Sentence. Making a terrorist threat is a Class X felony.


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(d) In addition to any other sentence that may be imposed, the court shall order any person convicted of making a terrorist threat involving a threat that a bomb or explosive device has been placed in a school to reimburse the unit of government that employs the emergency response officer or officers that were dispatched to the school for the cost of the search for a bomb or explosive device. For the purposes of this Section, “emergency response” means any incident requiring a response by a police officer, a firefighter, a State Fire Marshal employee, or an ambulance.

A conviction for Making a Terrorist Threat in Illinois is a Class X felony, which means that a person can be sentenced to 6-30 years in prison (or more under certain conditions where they have prior convictions).  In addition to the possible criminal penalties, a person convicted of Making a Terrorist Threat can also be ordered to pay significant sums of money to reimburse governmental agencies for the expense of responding to the threat.


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