Terrorism: World Trade Center and the Pentagon - Applicable Federal Criminal Law [September 13, 2001] [open pdf - 23KB]
"The death and destruction associated with the hijacking of four commercial airliners constitute federal crimes that outlaw air piracy, murder, and kidnapping. Relevant statutes carry the death penalty and apply to any accomplices or coconspirators here or abroad. [...] On September 11, 2001, four commercial airliners were hijacked. Two crashed into the World Trade Center towers; one into the Pentagon; and a fourth in Pennsylvania. Casualties number in the thousands. [...] The existence of multiple murder victims; the risk of death of others; the heinous nature of a murder; and the fact a murder occurred during the commission of air piracy, destruction of federal buildings or those whose activities affect interstate commerce, kidnapping, or destruction of commercial aircraft, are all aggravating factors which a jury may consider in determining whether the death penalty should be imposed on those guilty of federal capital offenses."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21008