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Category Archives: Terrorism Trials & Investigations

Terrorism Trials

Justice Stevens on Guantánamo

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at 2:50 PM

I’ve long been a huge fan of (Retired) Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, not least because his prized possessions include a scorecard from Game 3 of the 1932 World Series–better known to baseball history as the “called shot” game–which he attended, in person, at the age of 12(!). It should therefore come as little . . .
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Omar Khadr Granted Bail in Canada

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Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 10:22 AM

The American press has largely ignored the decision, but CBC News has the story: Convicted war criminal Omar Khadr, the Canadian transferred to an Alberta facility after serving time at Guantanamo Bay, has been granted bail. Shortly after the decision was announced, the federal government said it would appeal the decision made by an Alberta judge. . . .
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Referred for Prosecution But Never Tried: The (Latest) Guantánamo Math Problem

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Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 11:47 AM

Everyone should read Bobby’s post from last night on the potential approach of an endgame for the 122 detainees still in custody at Guantánamo. As Bobby points out, even if the government (miraculously) is able to transfer the 57 detainees cleared for transfer, that still leaves two categories of detainees in need of a solution: those the government . . .
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More Arrests of Americans Attempting to Fight for ISIL in Syria

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Monday, April 20, 2015 at 1:30 PM

Six Somali-American men from the Minneapolis area have been arrested on material support charges, based on allegations that they were attempting to travel to Syria to join ISIL. The complaint and corresponding FBI affidavit are posted here. Note that the complaint is a handy case study in the variety of investigative techniques that FBI might . . .
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Indictment of US Citizen Who Trained with al Nusrah and Returned to Attack

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Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 5:42 PM

A grand jury in Ohio has indicted Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, a recently-naturalized US citizen and resident of Columbus, with two material support counts (and one false statement count) based on allegations that he traveled to Syria to fight, that he received military-style training from al Nusrah, and that he came back to the United States . . .
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Event with GTMO Chief Prosecutor Next Tuesday at Harvard Law

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Friday, April 10, 2015 at 3:02 PM

Perhaps of interest to Lawfare readers in the Boston area: Next Tuesday, the Harvard National Security & Law Association (NSLA) will host Brigadier General Mark Martins, the chief prosecutor for military commissions and lead trial counsel in the prosecution of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other accused perpetrators of the attacks of September 11, 2001, for a . . .
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The New (Old) Interim Convening Authority for Military Commissions

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 4:33 PM

It seems Paul Oostburg Sanz, the Navy’s General Counsel, will serve for the time being as the Guantanamo military commissions’ Convening Authority—such temporary service being necessary in light of the resignation of retired Marine Major General Vaughn Ary.  (Readers will recall that the military judge presiding over the Al-Nashiri commission case recently disqualified Ary and some of . . .
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How Did Abid Naseer Come to be Convicted in a U.S. Court?

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Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 4:00 PM

On March 4 2015, Pakistani national Abid Naseer was convicted in a Brooklyn Federal Court of supporting terrorism and conspiring with al-Qaeda to bomb a shopping mall in the United Kingdom in 2009. The case received a fair bit of press attention, including this story in the New York Times. Naseer’s trial in Brooklyn had some . . .
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New Abbottabad Documents Released in Trial of Abid Naseer

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Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 12:56 PM

In the trial of Abid Naseer, the U.S. Department of Justice released a trove of new files recovered from Osama bin Laden’s compound during the May 2011 raid by U.S. Navy Seals that ended in his death. Seventeen of the documents were released in 2012. Those previously released documents painted a picture of a bin . . .
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Yesterday in U.S. v. Tsarnaev: Prosecution Witnesses

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Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 3:00 PM

With opening statements made, prosecutors in the capital case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev commenced their presentation of evidence.  An overview of the day’s testimony—which spanned some of the morning and all of the afternoon—follows below. Morning Session Taking the witness stand first was Thomas Grilk, Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the Boston . . .
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Yesterday in U.S. v. Tsarnaev: Opening Statements

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Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 11:00 AM

After weeks of protracted and highly contested jury selection, opening statements in the capital case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev got underway yesterday, more than one month later than originally planned. I attended this part of the Boston bomber’s trial—which I summarize below. The defendant appeared at ease when he entered the courtroom, even cracking a smile . . .
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The First Circuit’s Mandamus Ruling in U.S. v. Tsarnaev

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 4:45 PM

A couple of weeks ago I recapped the Tsarnaev mandamus oral argument. And on Friday, the First Circuit panel that heard the arguments—composed of Chief Judge Sandra Lynch, and Judges Juan Torruella and Jeffrey Howard—released a lengthy, 2-1 split opinion denying Tsarnaev’s second bid for a writ of mandamus seeking an order requiring the prosecution to . . .
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3/3 Session #1: Suppression, and SSCI Matters

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 10:39 AM

Air Force Col. Vance Spath, the military judge, resumes proceedings.  The question is what those proceedings will comprise, the docket having been winnowed greatly, both by yesterday’s unlawful influence ruling and by some still unresolved questions about classified material.  Could there be unclassified argument with respect to AE319F and AE333?  (It seems the issue of . . .
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Al-Nashiri Motions Hearing: March 3 Session

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Litigation resumes in one of Guantanamo’s two capital military commission cases today at 0900; likewise the CCTV broadcast of the pre-trial session, which we’ll follow from our little perch here at Fort Meade, and post about throughout the day. You’ll find updates on the prosecution of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri in the “Events Coverage” section, and . . .
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Al-Nashiri Motions Hearing: March 2 Session

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Monday, March 2, 2015 at 10:28 AM

We today resume with Lawfare’s  almost-live coverage of pretrial proceedings in the military commission case of United States v. Al-Nashiri. Our two-week hearing’s second week is set to commence today sometime after 10:30; around that time, we expect a ruling from the military judge, on a key defense filing regarding alleged unlawful influence. We’ll view the Guantanamo proceedings remotely . . .
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Friday at the Military Commissions: Al Nashiri

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Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 10:29 PM

Last Friday’s sessions in the Al Nashiri military commission case were quick. The first came quite early in the morning to resolve an outstanding issue from Thursday’s closed session: whether the defense can interview Navy TJAG Nanette DeRenzi for purposes of the defense’s pending unlawful influence motion. (The latter, recall, concerns a recent Defense Department . . .
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Wednesday and Thursday at the Military Commissions: Al Nashiri

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Friday, February 27, 2015 at 3:00 PM

At the outset of Wednesday’s session in the Al Nashiri military commission—the criminal proceeding against a Guantanamo detainee accused of plotting, among other things, the 2000 attack on the USS Cole—Judge Vance Spath added an extra wrinkle to the ongoing “unlawful influence” debate surrounding Change 1 to the Regulation for Trial by Military Commissions.  The latter requires that . . .
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DoD Withdraws Order Requiring MiliComms Judges to Live at GTMO

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Friday, February 27, 2015 at 12:25 PM

That’s the word from the Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg.  I reckon this will mean the 9/11 case will be swiftly unpaused.  From Rosenberg’s piece: In an abrupt retreat Friday, the Pentagon withdrew an order to war court judges to take up residence at this remote base, the Miami Herald has learned. The order has stirred controversy since . . .
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Yesterday’s Abatement Order in the 9/11 Case

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Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 4:30 PM

Yesterday, after determining Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work’s requirement that military commission judges live at Guantanamo Bay may improperly interfered with the case, Col. James Pohl halted pretrial proceedings in the trial of five Guantanamo Bay detainees accused of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks. You can find Col. Pohl’s abatement order below:

Monday and Tuesday at the Military Commissions: Al Nashiri

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 4:24 PM

The Al Nashiri military commission proceedings returned Monday for what is scheduled to be two weeks of pre-trial motion hearings. After an off-the-record session in the morning, the commission picked up in the afternoon session with AE 332, a defense motion to dismiss for unlawful influence and violation of due process for failure to provide an independent judiciary. Before beginning oral argument . . .
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