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I’ve been finding this confusing. If Bob, a US citizen, commits a crime in country A, which is illegal extraterritorially under the Special Maritime & Territorial Jurisdiction, does this mean he can be indicted by the US for it? By my reading from here, the answer is no, as a foreign country does not seem to be included in the definition of the SMTJ. The Special Maritime and Territorial Jurisdiction is defined as:

The term “special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States”, as used in this title, includes:

(1) The high seas, any other waters within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any particular State, and any vessel belonging in whole or in part to the United States or any citizen thereof, or to any corporation created by or under the laws of the United States, or of any State, Territory, District, or possession thereof, when such vessel is within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any particular State.

(2) Any vessel registered, licensed, or enrolled under the laws of the United States, and being on a voyage upon the waters of any of the Great Lakes, or any of the waters connecting them, or upon the Saint Lawrence River where the same constitutes the International Boundary Line.

(3) Any lands reserved or acquired for the use of the United States, and under the exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction thereof, or any place purchased or otherwise acquired by the United States by consent of the legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the erection of a fort, magazine, arsenal, dockyard, or other needful building.

(4) Any island, rock, or key containing deposits of guano, which may, at the discretion of the President, be considered as appertaining to the United States.

(5) Any aircraft belonging in whole or in part to the United States, or any citizen thereof, or to any corporation created by or under the laws of the United States, or any State, Territory, District, or possession thereof, while such aircraft is in flight over the high seas, or over any other waters within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any particular State.

(6) Any vehicle used or designed for flight or navigation in space and on the registry of the United States pursuant to the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies and the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space, while that vehicle is in flight, which is from the moment when all external doors are closed on Earth following embarkation until the moment when one such door is opened on Earth for disembarkation or in the case of a forced landing, until the competent authorities take over the responsibility for the vehicle and for persons and property aboard.

(7) Any place outside the jurisdiction of any nation with respect to an offense by or against a national of the United States.

(8) To the extent permitted by international law, any foreign vessel during a voyage having a scheduled departure from or arrival in the United States with respect to an offense committed by or against a national of the United States.

(9) With respect to Offenses committed by or against a national of the United States as that term is used in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act—

(A) the premises of United States diplomatic, consular, military or other United States Government missions or entities in foreign States, including the buildings, parts of buildings, and land appurtenant or ancillary thereto or used for purposes of those missions or entities, irrespective of ownership; and

(B) residences in foreign States and the land appurtenant or ancillary thereto, irrespective of ownership, used for purposes of those missions or entities or used by United States personnel assigned to those missions or entities.

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    Some crimes are extraterritorial for reasons that have nothing to do with the SMTJ, so it's possible that Bob could be indicted even though the crime was not committed in the SMTJ.
    – phoog
    Jun 25 at 12:43
  • @phoog do you have a source where more can be read about this?
    – walstack
    Jun 25 at 12:44
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    The document you link to in the question. The section Federal Criminal Laws Which Enjoy Express Extraterritorial Application has four subsections of which one is Special Maritime & Territorial Jurisdiction; the other three describe other mechanisms of extraterritoriality. An example would be 18 USC 1119, which explicitly applies to acts committed "within the jurisdiction of another country."
    – phoog
    Jun 25 at 13:14
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If a crime applies extraterritorially under the Special Maritime and Territorial Jurisdiction, can it be applied when committed in a foreign country?

No. Special Maritime and Territorial Jurisdiction does not include foreign countries (except in U.S. embassies or military bases or the equivalent).

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  • What about if the crime committed concerns something illegal that occurs through “foreign or interstate commerce”?
    – walstack
    Jun 25 at 22:35
  • @walstack The U.S. has the authority under U.S. constitutional law to impose criminal liability extraterritorially in some circumstances, including those that occur through "foreign or interstate commerce." But the issue isn't the authority of the U.S. to do so. The issue is whether including of "Special Maritime or Territorial Jurisdiction" within the express claimed scope of U.S. government authority under the statute does so. The answer to that question is that it does not. The territory of a foreign country (outside a base/embassy) isn't within special maritime or territorial jurisdiction.
    – ohwilleke
    Jun 25 at 22:52
  • So you’re saying those that occur through “foreign or interstate commerce” can apply extraterritorially regardless of any mention of SMTJ.
    – walstack
    Jun 25 at 22:57
  • @walstack Not exactly. I'm saying that if the crime occurs though "foreign or interstate commerce" AND the statute expressly states that it applies "within the jurisdiction of another country" (for example), that this crime could have extraterritorial jurisdiction in another country regardless of any mention of SMTJ.
    – ohwilleke
    Jun 25 at 23:05
  • Sorry, I’m almost there. Are you saying that if the crime occurs through “foreign or interstate commerce” that it doesn’t mean that the crime could have extraterritorial jurisdiction with or without any mention of SMTJ (and even with mention would hold no bearing for crimes committed in foreign countries) unless the statute expressly states that it applies within the jurisdiction of another country? The wording “foreign or interstate commerce” alone doesn’t imply extraterritorial application or it does? I was thinking perhaps it does if a US citizen committed such a crime abroad.
    – walstack
    Jun 25 at 23:36

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