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Category Archives: Terrorism Trials

Terrorism Trials

Supreme Court Denies Cert in Mehanna and Ali Cases

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Monday, October 6, 2014 at 4:17 PM

It’s not just the same-sex marriage cases. The Supreme Court today also denied petitions for certiorari in a pair of cases we’ve been following. The first petition was from Tarek Mehanna, a Massachusetts man who was previously convicted for providing material support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2339. Andy Wang provided . . .
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Confusing the Issues in al Bahlul

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 10:11 PM

For the two people still following the exchange between me and Peter Margulies over the bottom-side briefing in the al Bahlul D.C. Circuit military commission appeal, I wanted to offer a very quick (and hopefully final) word in response to Peter’s surreply from this afternoon, in an effort to crystallize the true points of departure between . . .
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Reply to Steve on al Bahlul, the “Law of War,” and Article III

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 11:30 AM

How much deference should Congress receive in determining when military commissions are necessary incidents of war?  That’s the real nub of the dispute between Steve and amici arguing to the D.C. Circuit that Article III did not bar the military commission conviction of Ali Hamza al Bahlul, whom the en banc court has already described . . .
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Judge Kaplan Accepts Adel Abdul Bary Guilty Plea

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Benjamin Weiser of the New York Times has the scoop on the plea bargain, about which U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan initially had harbored reservations, given the 25-year maximum sentence in play: A federal judge in Manhattan said on Tuesday that he would accept a guilty plea from a terrorism defendant who would face a . . .
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Why Article III Matters: A Reply to Peter Margulies on al Bahlul

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 10:23 PM

I must confess that I don’t fully understand Peter Margulies’ response to my post from earlier today. My post argued that the bottom-side briefing in the D.C. Circuit in al Bahlul offers a relatively weak (and, in my view, already debunked) explanation for why Congess can allow allow military commissions to try enemy belligerents for wholly domestic offenses without . . .
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Article III, the Framers, and al Bahlul: A Reply to Steve

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Steve’s post arguing that the military commission conviction of former bin Laden aide Ali Hamza al Bahlul for conspiracy to murder civilians violates Article III does not do justice to the Framers’ carefully considered view of the interaction between Article III and Congress’s war powers.  In critiquing both the government brief and the amicus brief . . .
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Article III and the Bottom-Side Briefing in al Bahlul

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Jane already flagged the merits brief filed by the U.S. government on September 17 in al Bahlul v. United States, the major challenge to the power of the Guantánamo military commissions to try non-international war crimes that was remanded by the en banc D.C. Circuit to the original three-judge panel back in July (and in which oral argument is . . .
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Will the Supreme Court Take Up Mehanna?

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Monday, September 29, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Does translating “radical” Arab texts and videos amount to material support for terrorism? That is the question that would face the Supreme Court, should they decide to take up Mehanna v. United States. (For full background and facts on the case, see our extensive prior coverage here.) The basic facts of Mehanna are simple. The . . .
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Al-Nashiri: USG Appeals Dismissal of French Oil Tanker Charges

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Friday, September 19, 2014 at 2:48 PM

The United States today appealed an adverse ruling in the capital military commission case against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. The Guantanamo detainee stands accused, among other things, of orchestrating the 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole—and in playing a role in another attack against the M/V Limburg, a French oil tanker. Only legally controversial counts regarding the latter are it issue for . . .
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Monday’s Hearing in al-Hadi

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 9:19 AM

This week’s hearing in the military commission case of United States v. Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi turned out to be a quick one.  Monday afternoon was evidently sufficient time for court and counsel to debate the government’s motion for an order to protect national security information; the proceedings were recessed thereafter. You can read all about it over in . . .
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Al-Hadi Case: September 15 Session

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Monday, September 15, 2014 at 12:45 PM

 A note to readers: business back at Brookings will keep your correspondent away from Fort Meade, and from observing, almost live and via CCTV broadcast,  a two-day pre-trial hearing in the military commission case of United States v. Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi.  The session commences today at 1 p.m., and could continue through tomorrow.   Nearly-live . . .
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Chief Prosecutor Statement on This Week’s Hearing in Al-Hadi

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Monday, September 15, 2014 at 12:00 PM

On the docket today and tomorrow at Guantanamo: argument on the government’s motion to protect national security information in United States v. Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi. The Chief Prosecutor issued a statement in advance of the pre-trial hearing, which commences this afternoon at 1 p.m.  The statement opens: Good evening. Since we last met, there . . .
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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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European Court of Human Rights Takes on Extraditions to the U.S.: Trabelsi v. Belgium

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Friday, September 5, 2014 at 7:06 AM

The European Court of Human Rights released its opinion in the case of Trabelsi v. Belgium on yesterday, holding that by extraditing Nizar Trabelsi to the United States, where he possibly faced an irreducible life sentence, Belgium had violated Trabelsi’s rights under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (which states that “[n]o . . .
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Lawyer for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Resigns From Army

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 8:08 AM

Some recent military commissions news: On August 26th, Major Jason Wright, one of the attorneys representing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, resigned from the Army after he was ordered to leave the legal team representing Mr. Mohammed at Guantanamo Bay in order to complete a graduate school program required for his promotion from Captain to Major. Wright had . . .
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Article III and the al Bahlul Remand: The New, New NIMJ Amicus Brief

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Monday, August 18, 2014 at 12:59 PM

On July 14, the en banc D.C. Circuit ruled in al Bahlul v. United States that “plain error” review applied to Bahlul’s ex post facto challenge to his military commission convictions for conspiracy, material support, and solicitation–and then upheld the first of those charges under such deferential review (while throwing out the latter two). One of the potentially unintended consequences of the Court . . .
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9/11 Case Motions Hearing: 8/14 Session

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Friday, August 15, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Working off transripts, Lawfare’s Matt Danzer has a rundown of yesterday’s pre-trial proceedings in the 9/11 case.  We’ll post his dispatches in our “Events Coverage” section, while linking to them as they come in throughout the day.  Keep your eye on this space. 8/14 Motions Session #1: Conflicts, Conflicts Everywhere 8/14 Session #2: On Severing Al-Hawsawi . . .
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9/11 Case Motions Hearing: August 13 Session

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Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 12:43 PM

A reminder: Lawfare won’t be traveling to Fort Meade to take in, almost live and via CCTV broadcast, the rest of this week’s pretrial hearing in the 9/11 case.  We will thus resort to our backup coverage format, by posting digests of each prior day’s events in our “Events Coverage” section. We thus commence with Matt . . .
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Al-Nashiri Order Dismissing Charges Relating to French Oil Tanker

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Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 10:50 AM

We flagged news coverage of this important military commissions ruling earlier, when the item in question was not yet available.  You’ll now find the real thing here (and here). The military judge’s order seemingly came down to this: the prosecution had asserted—but ultimately did not submit proof of—facts that, in its view, supported military commission jurisdiction over charges regarding . . .
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This Afternoon’s Hearing in the 9/11 Case

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 1:54 PM

A reminder, and a little coverage note: this afternoon will see a pre-trial hearing in the case against Ramzi Binalshibh—one of five men charged with plotting the 9/11 attacks. Unfortunately Lawfare won’t be able to take in those proceedings via Fort Meade’s Closed Circuit TV facility—but we will post a digest of the afternoon’s most significant events, once . . .
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