Material support is defined somewhat differently in different contexts, making it difficult for nonprofit organizations to navigate the prohibition when working in areas controlled by or in proximity to listed terrorist groups.
The primary definition is found in the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA):
Material support: Any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (one or more individuals who may be or include oneself), and transportation, except medicine or religious materials. (18 U.S.C. §2339A).
The AEDPA further defines the non-tangible forms of support as follows:
Training: instruction or teaching designed to impart a specific skill, as opposed to general knowledge.
Expert advice or assistance: advice or assistance derived from scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge.
Material support (INA): to commit an act that the actor knows, or reasonably should know, affords material support, including a safe house, transportation, communications, funds, transfer of funds or other material benefit, false documentation or identification, weapons (chemical, biological, or radiological weapons), explosives, or training
Terrorist organization (INA): an organization –