Permissible Activities

Permissible Activities for Peacebuilders: New Resource

A new resource on our website outlines permissible activities for peacebuilders. 

The fact sheet is based on statements by U.S. officials in the Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project case. Since that Supreme Court decision, peacebuilders have faced significant uncertainty as to what communications with Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) remain permissible under the prohibition on material support of terrorism in 18 USC 2339B. The lack of clarity about how it should be interpreted and applied has created a chilling impact on peacebuilding activities, inhibited constitutionally permitted speech and association, and reduced the kinds of contacts that might help prevent/counter violent extremism and terrorism.

This fact sheet is intended to provide a measure of clarity by drawing on representations made by the government to the Supreme Court during oral argument and in its brief in the litigation regarding what it considers to be permissible communications with listed groups.    

View the new resource

Analysis: Permissible Activities for Peacebuilders - Based on Statements by U.S. Officials

Date: 
April 14, 2017

Since the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project (HLP), peacebuilding organizations have faced significant uncertainty as to what communications with Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) remain permissible under the prohibition on material support of terrorism in 18 USC 2339B.  Although there have been no prosecutions for peacebuilding activities since the decision, the lack of clarity about how it should be interpreted and applied has created a chilling impact on peacebuilding activities, inhibited constitutionally permitted speech and association, and reduced the kinds of contacts that might help prevent/counter violent extremism and terrorism. This fact sheet is intended to provide a measure of clarity by drawing on representations made by the government to the Supreme Court during oral argument and in its brief in the Holder litigation about what it considers to be permissible communications with listed groups.[1] A chart summarizing these statements is included. A PDF of this analysis is available here.

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