Here’s a story you probably missed (don’t feel bad, we did too). Earlier this month, two women were indicted by a federal grand jury in Iowa on charges related to the 2016 and ’17 Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Their offense: delaying construction of the pipeline, which was secured through eminent domain to “force its way” through privately owned farmland. They burned pieces of heavy machinery at a construction site, pierced steel pipes with a flame-cutting torch, and used gasoline-soaked rags to set fire to other equipment. Now they face up to 110 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines based on a nine-count indictment. Whether you think the punishment is fitting or excessive is entirely besides the point we’re trying to make. We have chosen to write about this case because most of the coverage missed a pretty important detail: you might be familiar with claims that the federal government does not have a domestic terrorism statute. Well, these women were charged with one. In fact, Congress has enacted 51 statutes that are defined as “federal crime(s) of terrorism” and apply to entirely domestic acts. So the next time someone tells you the feds don't have enough power and need a new terrorism statute to deal with domestic threats, remind them of this case.

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