Skip to content

Category Archives: Terrorism Trials

Terrorism Trials

The First Circuit’s Mandamus Ruling in U.S. v. Tsarnaev

By
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 . . .
Read more »

3/3 Session #1: Suppression, and SSCI Matters

By
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 . . .
Read more »

Al-Nashiri Motions Hearing: March 2 Session

By
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 . . .
Read more »

Friday at the Military Commissions: Al Nashiri

By
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 . . .
Read more »

Wednesday and Thursday at the Military Commissions: Al Nashiri

By
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 . . .
Read more »

DoD Withdraws Order Requiring MiliComms Judges to Live at GTMO

By
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 . . .
Read more »

Yesterday’s Abatement Order in the 9/11 Case

By
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

By
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 . . .
Read more »

Defense Counsel: 9/11 Case Halted, Pending Change in Judges’ Assignment Rule

By
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 3:14 PM

Wow.  This just in from J. Connell III, an attorney for 9/11 defendant Ammar al-Baluchi: WASHINGTON, DC-Today, a military commissions judge ordered a halt to the 9/11 case at Guantanamo Bay because Department of Defense officials tried to unlawfully influence the military commissions judiciary.  The order, known as “abatement,” means that no further proceedings will . . .
Read more »

Chief Prosecutor Statement on This Week’s Hearing in the al Nashiri Case

By
Monday, February 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Per our usual practice, Lawfare will be posting digests of the Al Nashiri military commission proceedings—which resume today at noon—throughout the week. First up is the statement by Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, which you can find below:

Oral Argument Recap: Tsarnaev Mandamus Litigation

By
Friday, February 20, 2015 at 3:30 PM

For roughly 60 minutes yesterday morning, a three-judge panel of the First Circuit heard arguments as to whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death penalty trial should be moved out of Boston due to concerns that he would not be able to receive a fair and impartial trial. (Yishai recently covered the legal backdrop here; briefing can be . . .
Read more »

CMCR Voids David Hicks’ Guilty Plea and Sentence

By
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 2:23 PM

The Miami Herald (via the AP’s Ben Fox) has a piece on the Court of Military Commission Review’s (CMCR) ruling; Jess Bravin also has this report in the Wall Street Journal.  The decision can be found here, and opens as follows: SILLIMAN, DEPUTY CHIEF JUDGE: Appellant urges us to set aside his guilty plea to providing material support to terrorism, in violation . . .
Read more »

Thursday at the Military Commissions: The 9/11 Case

By
Monday, February 16, 2015 at 8:00 AM

After the ups and downs of this week’s hearings in the military commissions case of United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed et al., Thursday provided a much more straightforward series of motions brought on behalf of one accused 9/11 plotter only, Mustafa Al-Hawsawi. I overview some of Thursday’s highlights, including courtroom discussion Hawsawi’s motions, below. Hawsawi’s Learned . . .
Read more »

Yesterday at the Military Commissions: the 9/11 Case

By
Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 2:28 PM

As readers likely know, earlier this week, pre-trial motions in Khalid Sheikh Mohammed et al. hit an unanticipated obstacle when one accused, Ramzi Binalshibh, indicated that he recognized one of his translators from a past role as an interpreter at a CIA black-site. Given the recent uproar over the revelation that the FBI had been questioning . . .
Read more »

Pretrial Proceedings in the 9/11 Case Resume Today

By
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 9:15 AM

Alas, Lawfare won’t be live-blogging the session, which presumably will reveal a bit more about what one accused, Ramzi Binalshibh, told the judge on Monday: that the detainee recognized one of his translators, who, as Binalshibh recalled, had worked at a CIA blacksite where Binalshibh had been held. This put the hearing on pause for a day; . . .
Read more »

On Judge O’Toole’s Stubborn Reluctance To Moving the Boston Bomber Trial

By
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Jury selection in the trial of  accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has dragged on for over a month. Since January 5, over 150 potential jurors have been questioned, and still the judge proceeds haltingly through a pool filled with preconceptions about Tsarnaev’s guilt and fury at what the bombing’s perpetrators. But despite these challenges, . . .
Read more »

Argument Recap: The Critical Difference in How al-Nashiri Loses

By
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 2:03 PM

If one thing was clear from Tuesday morning’s 61-minute argument before the D.C. Circuit in In re al-Nashiri, in which a Guantánamo military commission defendant seeks to challenge on constitutional grounds the composition of the intermediate Court of Military Commission Review (CMCR) assigned to hear the government’s interlocutory appeal in his case (which I previewed here), it was that . . .
Read more »

2/9 Session #2: The Translator, Part Two

By
Monday, February 9, 2015 at 10:59 AM

Our session is once more called to order.  The defense and accused are here, but now the Special Review Team is not—its place having been taken by the ordinary prosecution team.  (The two groups, you’ll recall, maintain strict independence from one another, given the conflict allegations arising from the FBI’s approach to a member of . . .
Read more »

9/11 Case Motions Hearing: February 9 Session

By
Monday, February 9, 2015 at 8:50 AM

Your correspondent returns to Fort Meade’s Smallwood Hall—venue for closed circuit TV monitoring of courtroom proceedings down at Guantanamo.  At the base in Cuba, the military commission case against the five alleged plotters of the 9/11 attacks will resume this morning at 9 a.m. We will follow along, and post dispatches throughout the day in . . .
Read more »

Chief Prosecutor Statement on This Week’s Hearing in the 9/11 Case

By
Sunday, February 8, 2015 at 10:00 PM

Here y’are.  Brig. Gen. Mark Martins’ remarks begin as follows: Good afternoon. On this day in 1949, the bill that ultimately became the Uniform Code of Military Justice was introduced into both houses of Congress, and on the same day two years later, the President prescribed the Manual for Courts-Martial. Creating uniformity of procedures across . . .
Read more »