Why is an NBA star charged with making terroristic threats?

Why is an NBA star charged with making terroristic threats?

Why is an NBA star charged with making terroristic threats?

Answers to your questions about the news.
July 12 2002 6:38 PM

What Are Terroristic Threats?

Why is an NBA star charged with making terroristic threats?

The Philadelphia District Attorney's office will charge NBA star Allen Iverson with multiple crimes, including two counts of making "terroristic threats." What are terroristic threats? And are they related to the kind of terrorism we associate with Sept. 11?

Under Pennsylvania law, there are two kinds of terroristic threats. One is similar to mass-scale terrorism—essentially, any threat you make to force the evacuation of a movie theater, apartment complex, or other public building. So, if you phone in a bomb threat, you're delivering a terroristic threat.

But victim count need not be so high. Threatening just oneperson with bodily harm is also considered a terroristic threat. This is what Iverson is charged with. According to press accounts, the NBA star forced his way into an apartment and, once inside, brandished a gun and threatened the occupants. Iverson was apparently searching for his wife.

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In Pennsylvania, making terroristic threats is a first-degree misdemeanor. If convicted of just that charge, Iverson could face a sentence of two-and-a-half to five years in prison.

Explainer thanks Corporal Jim Pauley of the Philadelphia Police Department and the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.