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Punitive Articles of the UCMJ

Article 134-52 -- Threat or Hoax Intended to Cause Panic or Public Fear

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Text

See Paragraph 60.

Elements.

(1) Threat.

    (a) That the accused communicated certain language;

    (b) That the information communicated amounted to a threat;

    (c) That the harm threatened was to be done by means of an explosive; weapon of mass destruction; biological or chemical agent, substance, or weapon; or hazardous material;

    (d) That the communication was wrongful; and

    (e) That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.

(2) Hoax.

    (a) That the accused communicated or conveyed certain information;

    (b) That the information communicated or conveyed concerned an attempt being made or to be made by means of an explosive; weapon of mass destruction; biological or chemical agent, substance, or weapon; or hazardous material, to unlawfully kill, injure, or intimidate a person or to unlawfully damage or destroy certain property; (c) That the information communicated or conveyed by the accused was false and that the accused then knew it to be false;

    (d) That the communication of the information by the accused was malicious; and

    (e) That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.

Explanation

(1) Threat. A "threat" means an expressed present determination or intent to kill, injure, or intimidate a person or to damage or destroy certain property presently or in the future. Proof that the accused actually intended to kill, injure, intimidate, damage, or destroy is not required.

(2) Explosive. "Explosive" means gunpowder, powders used for blasting, all forms of high explosives, blasting materials, fuses (other than electrical circuit breakers), detonators, and other detonating agents, smokeless powders, any explosive bomb, grenade, missile, or similar device, and any incendiary bomb or grenade, fire bomb, or similar device, and any other explosive compound, mixture, or similar material.

(3) Weapon of mass destruction. A weapon of mass destruction means any device, explosive or otherwise, that is intended, or has the capability, to cause death or serious bodily injury to a significant number of people through the release, dissemination, or impact of: toxic or poisonous chemicals, or their precursors; a disease organism; or radiation or radioactivity.

(4) Biological agent. The term "biological agent" means any micro-organism (including bacteria, viruses, fungi, rickettsiac, or protozoa), pathogen, or infectious substance, and any naturally occurring, bioengineered, or synthesized component of any such micro-organism, pathogen, or infectious substance, whatever its origin or method of production, that is capable of causing--

    (a) death, disease, or other biological malfunction in a human, an animal, a plant, or another living organism;

    (b) deterioration of food, water, equipment, supplies, or materials of any kind; or (c) deleterious alteration of the environment.

(5) Chemical agent, substance, or weapon. A chemical agent, substance, or weapon refers to a toxic chemical and its precursors or a munition or device, specifically designed to cause death or other harm through toxic properties of those chemicals that would be released as a result of the employment of such munition or device, and any equipment specifically designed for use directly in connection with the employment of such munitions or devices.

(6) Hazardous material. A substance or material (including explosive, radioactive material, etiologic agent, flammable or combustible liquid or solid, poison, oxidizing or corrosive material, and compressed gas, or mixture thereof) or a group or class of material designated as hazardous by the Secretary of Transportation.

(7) Malicious. A communication is "malicious" if the accused believed that the information would probably interfere with the peaceful use of the building, vehicle, aircraft, or other property concerned, or would cause fear or concern to one or more persons.

Lesser included offenses

(a) Article 134 -- communicating a threat

(b) Article 80 -- attempts

(c) Article 128 -- assault

Maximum punishment

Bomb threat and bomb hoax: Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 10 years.

Next Article> Article 134 - (Threat, communicating)>

Above Information from Manual for Court Martial, 2002, Chapter 4, Paragraph 109

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