The United States is party to ninety-six extradition treaties, each of which specifies that no obligation exists to extradite an individual for an act that constitutes a political offense. Born of the experience of the Enlightenment, this doctrine has become known as the "political offense" exception. The exception allows countries to remain neutral in foreign conflicts, at least to the extent of declining to deliver participants into the hands of their enemies.
Duane K. Thompson,
The Evolution of the Political Offense Exception in an Age of Modem Political Violence,
Yale J. Int'l L.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjil/vol9/iss2/4