saxitoxin wrote:I don't know how terrorism is defined in the U.S. Code, but if the suspect committed all the crimes in Massachusetts, built the bombs in Massachusetts, sourced the parts in Massachusetts, didn't attack a federal facility, didn't consult with others outside Massachusetts and was already living in Massachusetts for other reasons, how exactly could they try this in federal court instead of in the Commonwealth?
Because it's a terrorist act, and that's the business of the FBI.
If you target innocent civilians for a political goal, then it's terrorism. (that's the narrow definition). The US State Dept, DoD, and FBI have different yet broader definitions of terrorism--which include targeting government facilities and personnel--as well as particular military personnel (e.g. supply/logistics soldiers, off-duty soldiers, etc.). For the FBI, if you commit a particular crime (e.g. sabotage for environmental reasons), then that's ecoterrorism, which is terrorism.
If the FBI can convict people via the anti-ecoterrorism laws, then they can surely bring the American-Chechen kid to the federal courts.
BUT, sometimes they don't prosecute the perpetrators with anti-(eco)terrorism laws. Instead, they pin them with lesser crimes of which they're more certain will succeed (e.g. arson, attempted murder, etc.). So, it's up to the details of their investigation, and their perceived risk of not getting a conviction to stick.