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Category Archives: Terrorism Trials

Terrorism Trials

Chief Prosecutor Statement on Opening of This Week’s Al-Hadi Hearing

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Monday, January 26, 2015 at 9:27 AM

Here it is.  Last night’s statement from Brigadier General Mark Martins opens: Good evening. This week the Military Commission convened to try the charges against Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi will hold its third series of sessions without panel members present since he was arraigned on 18 June 2014. On that date, Abd al Hadi was . . .
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Al-Hadi Case: January 25 Session

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Monday, January 26, 2015 at 9:18 AM

Today marks the first in a week-long hearing in the military commission case of United States v. Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi.  But unfortunately this week, Lawfare won’t be able to view—and blog about—the Guantanamo proceedings in nearly-live fashion, from a CCTV facility in Fort Meade, Maryland. Accordingly, as per our usual “backup” practice, we will review transcripts of each . . .
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Thoughts on the Al-Marri Release

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Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 10:28 AM

In October 2009, Ali Saleh Al-Marri was sentenced to more than eight years in prison under a plea deal the Al Qaeda sleeper agent had struck with federal prosecutors. Quietly, on January 16, Al-Marri was released—having served just over five years of his time. Reports the Washington Post: Ali Saleh Mohammad Kahlah al-Marri, 49, was released from a maximum . . .
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The French Response to Terror: Counterterrorism Detention and Prosecutions Across the Atlantic

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 12:15 PM

In the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery, Western European security forces unleashed a dizzying storm of arrests and prosecutions and announced “exceptional” new measures to combat terrorism. In the space of just a few days, dozens of suspects were detained in Belgium, France and Germany, many of whom were questioned for days without . . .
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Welcome to Brooklyn: 2 AQ members who attacked US forces abroad brought to US for civilian trial

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 12:27 PM

An interesting development in the ongoing debate regarding the optimal disposition for captured al Qaeda members: The Justice Department has just announced that two al Qaeda members (both citizens of Yemen) were captured in Saudi Arabia (and have now been “lawfully expelled” to the United States to face a civilian criminal trial in the Eastern . . .
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Did the FBI Just Prevent an Attack in DC from a Homegrown ISIS Supporter?

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 6:12 PM

A very, very big arrest in Cincinnati today, involving allegations that a man named Christopher Cornell (online alias Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah) had planned to travel to DC in order to carry out an attack (via assault rifle) at the Capitol. It appears Cornell was arrested today after he purchased two ArmaLite M-15s. How did the . . .
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Law Enforcement as a Counterterrorism Tool

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Monday, January 12, 2015 at 10:39 AM

As I read the exchange between Bryan, Wells and Jack about law enforcement versus military methods of dealing with terrorism, I was reminded of a speech I gave at the Brookings Institution in 2010, which was later turned into an article.  And, perhaps not surprisingly, I found that I continue largely to agree with myself, . . .
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On War and Crime

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Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Yesterday at Lawfare, Bryan Cunningham sought to breathe new life into the “military versus law enforcement” debate over terrorism, along the way deeming the horrific assaults in Paris to be “consequences” of France’s police-centric strategy. He thus finds fault with the current counterterrorism regime generally, and invites others to join in a broader discussion about . . .
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Convening Authority Invalidates Military Commission Conviction

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Friday, January 9, 2015 at 9:19 PM

It seems the D.C. Circuit’s commission jurisprudence is kicking in. Here’s the news from The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg: A retired Marine general responsible for the Guantánamo war court has overturned the terror conviction through plea bargain of a Sudanese man who was sent home a little over a year ago as a war criminal, the Pentagon . . .
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War or Crime? Figure it Out

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Friday, January 9, 2015 at 1:11 PM

In the Clinton Administration, I participated in vigorous debates about whether to treat transnational threats, such as terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, as law enforcement or intelligence and war fighting issues.  After September 11, 2001, this issue was thrust into the limelight as the Bush Administration and civil liberties groups argued in public about . . .
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Al-Nashiri’s Reply on the Appointments Clause

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Friday, January 2, 2015 at 11:11 AM

In December, attorneys for the Guantanamo detainee filed their reply brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  (The pleading is dated December 15, but a cleared version was not approved for public release until New Year’s Eve, evidently.) The issue, as readers know, is whether two judges of the Court of Military Commission . . .
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Two Basic Problems With Abstention in Nashiri

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Wells already flagged yesterday’s D.D.C. decision by Judge Roberts, refusing to enjoin Abd Al Rahim Hussayn Muhammad Al Nashiri’s impending trial by military commission, and abstaining from reaching the merits of his habeas petition until and unless he’s convicted and is unsuccessful in the direct post-conviction appeal provided by the Military Commissions Act. Interested (or, at least, hyper-attentive) readers may . . .
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DDC Won’t Halt Al-Nashiri’s Military Commission at GTMO

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Such is the gist of Judge Richard Roberts’ order, issued yesterday in the context of the high-value Guantanamo detainee’s habeas case in D.C. district court. The opinion opens: Guantánamo detainee Abd Al Rahim Hussayn Muhammad Al Nashiri submitted an amended petition seeking a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that the respondents’ attempts to try him by . . .
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On This Week’s Scheduled Mini-Hearing in the 9/11 Case

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Monday, December 15, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Day one of the two-day hearing was apparently cancelled yesterday evening.  We await the final word on tomorrow’s planned session, though the odds of further in-court proceedings strike us as slim. At any rate, the Chief Prosecutor at Guantanamo had this to say. His statement addresses, among other things, the impact of the SSCI report on . . .
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9/11 Defense Counsel on the CIA’s Response to the SSCI Study

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Friday, December 12, 2014 at 2:08 PM

James Connell III, lawyer for 9/11 accused Ammar al-Baluchi, had this to say today: “The CIA and its defenders are using Mr. al Baluchi as a scapegoat for its illegal and reprehensible use of torture,” said James Connell, civilian attorney for Mr. al Baluchi.  “The United States spent incredible amounts of money, energy, and American . . .
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Released: SSCI Detention and Interrogation Study, Along With Minority Views and the CIA’s Response

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Here is the long-awaited Executive Summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The latter includes in a single file a foreword authored by Senator Feinstein, as well as the Study’s findings and conclusions.  Additionally, the Committee also has published these materials: Senator Feinstein’s statement;  a history of key dates in in . . .
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The D.C. Circuit’s Mandamus Jurisdiction and the Legitimacy of the Military Commissions

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Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 11:10 AM

It now appears that the next military commissions case in which the D.C. Circuit will hear oral argument is that of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri (“Nashiri”), with oral argument scheduled before an as-yet unnamed three-judge panel on Tuesday, February 10, 2015. And although the underlying “merits” issue in Nashiri is hyper-narrow (whether two of the three judges set to hear . . .
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Al Hadi Motions Hearing: November 18 Session

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 1:00 PM

It’s a chilly afternoon here at Fort Meade—the venue for today’s closed circuit television broadcast of pre-trial litigation down at Guantanamo.  Proceedings in the military commission case of United States v. Abd Al Hadi Al-Iraqi are set to begin at 1 p.m. After those get underway, Lawfare will post dispatches in our “Events Coverage” section; we’ll link to . . .
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11/17 Session #3: Common Allegations, Part Two

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Monday, November 17, 2014 at 11:26 AM

We return from recess, and Clayton resumes his argument in opposition to AE19—a motion to strike common allegations from the charge sheet against Al-Hadi. Clayton refers to Stirk’s suggestion that the law requires prosecutors to make spare or few allegations in a conspiracy case; he says he knows of no authority to that effect. And . . .
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Chief Prosecutor Statement on This Week’s Hearing in Al-Hadi

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Monday, November 17, 2014 at 9:03 AM

You’ll find it here.  Brig. Gen. Mark Martins’ remarks begin as follows: Good evening. Before turning to the proceedings scheduled for this coming week, I wish to update observers interested in United States v. Al Nashiri on the interlocutory appeal previously pending before the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review (“U.S.C.M.C.R.”). In September, the government appealed to the . . .
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