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Category Archives: Terrorism Investigations

Jose Padilla Re-sentenced to 21 Years

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 10:39 AM

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke has re-sentenced Jose Padilla to 21 years in prison for his 2007 conviction for conspiracy to murder, kidnap, and main individuals in a foreign country; conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists; and providing material support to terrorists. An appellate court had vacated Padilla’s original, 17-and-a-half year sentence, after finding . . .
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Consequence, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the Fourth Amendment’s ‘No-Win’ Scenario

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Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 10:29 AM

And, since I’m catching up on my blogging this morning, let me also recommend this paper by Scott Glick from the National Security Division of DOJ.   Very much relevant to the ongoing meta-data debate and other post-9/11 domestic law enforcement issues.  You may not agree, but it is worth a read. Here’s the abstract: . . .
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Khatalla Transitions from Military to Civilian Custody

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Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 12:00 PM

[Update:  A colleague writes in to say that Khatalla may have been in "civilian" custody, formally speaking, all along.  That may be; I recall a statement after the capture to the effect that the raid was conducted in some fashion under color of FBI authority, albeit with substantial SOF involvement under that umbrella.  This approach, . . .
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Relevant Excerpts from President Obama’s West Point Speech

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Not a lot in President Obama’s West Point speech that is new on Lawfare-related matters. Here are key excerpts. On broad counterterrorism strategy: First, let me repeat a principle I put forward at the outset of my presidency: The United States will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it — when . . .
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The FBI and the Bombing at the Boston Marathon in 2013

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Two opposite mistakes in an after-the-fact review of a terrorist incident are equally damaging. One is to fail to recognize the powerful difference between foresight and hindsight in evaluating how an investigative or intelligence agency should have behaved.  After the fact, we know on whom we should have focused attention as a suspect, and we . . .
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Thinking about MH370

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Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Fools, they say, rush in where angels fear to tread.  Proving that I am less angelic than foolish (and confident that the blogosphere will quickly forget these musings), I thought I’d offer a few Homeland Security-related thoughts on lessons learned from MH370.   Of course this speculation can be utterly overtaken by events, but even at . . .
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Two Passports on Malysian Air Stolen

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Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 11:06 AM

The news is here.  European officials confirm that at least two of the passengers whose passports were used to board MH370 were not, in fact, on the plane and that those who boarded the plane were using stolen passports.  In a follow on post, I’ll detail some of the steps that the world has taken . . .
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“Overblown” and “Misleading”? The New America Foundation Report on the Role of NSA Surveillance in Preventing Attacks

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Monday, January 13, 2014 at 9:37 PM

Since Edward Snowden unveiled the existence of NSA’s mass surveillance programs in June, various government officials have gone on the record to claim that the programs have prevented terrorist attacks and saved lives. Today the New America Foundation (NAF) released a report that purports to offer evidence that these claims are “overblown and even misleading.” . . .
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On Proliferating State and Local Surveillance Technologies

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Monday, October 14, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Over at Security States,  I have this piece up, about the proliferation of city- and state-operated surveillance technologies—and the need to pair collection rules for these technologies with effective use and access rules.  The piece begins: The New York Times reports today that “Privacy Fears Grow as Cities Increase Surveillance.” The main theme is that municipal police and law . . .
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The President’s Surveillance Reform Initiatives: A Section-by-Section Analysis

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Friday, August 9, 2013 at 5:46 PM

During his press conference today (transcript here), President Obama announced a quartet of reform initiatives meant to enhance the credibility and legitimacy of NSA activities and the FISA system, both of which have come under heavy pressure thanks to the Snowden revelations and their aftermath.  Here’s a rough section-by-section analysis of what he said: 1. . . .
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Al Nusrah/Al Shabaab Supporters Brought to the US for Prosecution, and other Terrorism Prosecution News

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Friday, August 9, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Some interesting terrorism-prosecution developments over the past few days that are worth noting. United States v. Mohammed (S.D. Fla.) First, a pair of men (one leaving in Kenya, and the other–who happens to be a naturalized US citizen–living in Saudi Arabia) are in custody in the US facing material support charges based on their efforts . . .
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POTUS Plans to Nominate James B. Comey as Next FBI Director

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 7:29 PM

So report the New York Times and the Washington Post.  

Robin Simcox on MI5 and Homegrown Radicalism

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Robin Simcox, research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society in London—who wrote this guest post for Lawfare last year about control orders in the UK—writes in after last week’s horrific terrorist attack in London about the burden on the British intelligence community and the difficulties of preventing and prosecuting domestic terrorism cases: As Lawfare readers . . .
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Harold Koh Identifies a Big Difference Between the Bush and Obama Administrations

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 5:55 PM

From Harold Koh’s speech to the Oxford Union yesterday: A third critical difference between this Administration and its predecessor is the Obama Administration’s determination not to address Al Qaeda and the Taliban solely through the tools of war. . . . [O]ur longer term objective must be what Secretary Clinton called a “smart power” approach. . . .
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The “Tsarnaev is Innocent” Movement

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 7:09 AM

I suppose this was inevitable: A Twitter hashtag has developed devoted to the proposition that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is innocent: #Freejahar, for those curious to check it out. Spencer Ackerman describes it as follows: Barely two days after cops apprehended Suspect #2 in the Boston Marathon bombings, supporters of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are rallying online. A flood of . . .
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A Deep(er) Dive into Chechnya and Kyrgyzstan

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Monday, April 22, 2013 at 8:13 PM

While the manhunt for one of the Boston bombing suspects was underway Friday, Susan and I wrote up this short annotated bibliography linking to pertinent resources about the conflicts in Chechnya and Kyrgzstan. Over the weekend, we took a deeper dive into the issues in the region, and wrote up this article for the Huffington Post. It . . .
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Geoff Corn on Tsarnaev, Miranda, and Questioning Terrorism Suspects

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Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 9:26 AM

The following guest post is from Professor Geoffrey Corn (South Texas College of Law).  While there is still much we do not know regarding the Boston marathon bombings, there is enough information (and even more misunderstanding) to prompt discussion on the intersection of, and balance between, national security, law enforcement, and “the law of confessions” . . .
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Four Reasons Sens. Graham and McCain are Wrong

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Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain were quick out of the box last night in declaring that the Obama administration should hold Dzhokar Tsarnaev in military detention: Now that the suspect is in custody, the last thing we should want is for him to remain silent. It is absolutely vital the suspect be questioned for intelligence gathering purposes. . . .
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Interrogating Tsarnaev: No Need for Military Detention Here

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Friday, April 19, 2013 at 11:04 PM

Unless there is good reason to believe that the Tsarnaev brothers were acting as agents of al Qaeda or some other AUMF-covered group, talk of putting Dzhokar Tsarnaev into military custody as an enemy combatant makes no legal sense, for the reasons that Ben Wittes explains in this excellent post from Jacob Gershman at the Wall . . .
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Good Twitter Sources and News Links on the Ongoing Boston Marathon Bombing Manhunt

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Friday, April 19, 2013 at 11:39 AM

We’re reposting our Twitter feed of reliable sources on the manhunt that’s ongoing in Boston right now. As with last time: “This does not mean that everything they are saying will turn out to be correct. This is a fluid situation. But these are all responsible people and outlets.” In addition, we’ll be posting useful . . .
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