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Category Archives: Terrorism Trials

Terrorism Trials

An Editor’s Note

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Earlier this morning, we featured a post regarding key developments in the Mohamud criminal case in Oregon.  Because of an Editor’s error, and not because of any error by its author, the post incorrectly characterized a March discovery ruling in Mohamud as having issued yesterday, and summarized that ruling; but did not address a ruling that was handed . . .
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Relitigating Guantánamo in the Context of Abu Khattala: A Different View

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Monday, June 23, 2014 at 7:00 AM

As I read Ben’s, Jack’s, John’s Steve’s and Wells’s posts, I come away with the impression that there is unanimous agreement at Lawfare that Abu Khattala (a) cannot be sent to Guantánamo for further interrogation and (b) must be tried in the civil justice system.  As a policy matter, they may be right in this particular case, but I respectfully . . .
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Does the Abu Khattalla Detention Pose “Unnecessary Delay?”

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Friday, June 20, 2014 at 2:19 PM

The government seems to think not, judging by New York Times coverage I noted earlier this morning. Among other things, the Times piece discusses the executive branch’s thinking about Abu Khattalla’s detention at sea, on the one hand; and on the other, the procedural requirement that upon arrest, a defendant be presented to a judge “without unnecessary delay.” I . . .
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When There’s No AUMF Nexus: Abu Khattalla and Criminal Procedure

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Friday, June 20, 2014 at 6:43 AM

I seem to have arrived late to the Abu Khattalla party. But I concur most emphatically that he should be tried in a stateside civilian court. Under the circumstances, Guantanamo is simply a non-starter. Apropos, seeing how the United States apparently has treated Abu Khattalla’s as a straightforward criminal matter, then what should we make of his extended detention aboard the . . .
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Chief Prosecutor Statement on Yesterday’s Arraignment in Al-Iraqi

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Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Here it is.  The text opens: Good afternoon. Today Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi—an Iraqi national whose records indicate was born as Nashwan Abd al Razzaq in 1961 in the city of Mosul—was arraigned before a United States military commission on charges that, as a senior member of Al Qaeda, he conspired with and led others . . .
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Relitigating Guantánamo: A Modest Quibble with John’s Post on Abu Khattala

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 2:43 PM

It’s refreshing to find voices of reason in Ben’s, Jack’s, and John’s posts on the Abu Khattala capture. Jack’s post, in particular, provides a lucid exposition of what any number of congressional Republicans should not have needed to have explained to them: That the absence of a connection to al Qaeda categorically resolves in the . . .
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Abd Al Hadi Al-Iraqi Arraignment

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 1:49 PM

This afternoon, Abd Al-Hadi Al-Iraqi will be arraigned before a military commission at Guantanamo. As per usual, video and audio of the pre-trial proceedings will be zapped, via closed circuit television, to Fort Meade’s Smallwood Hall; and as per usual, Lawfare will travel to Smallwood, view the broadcast and post almost-live dispatches in our “Events Coverage” section. . . .
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I Agree: Abu Khattala Belongs in Federal Court

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 10:25 AM

I want to pile on briefly to Jack’s and Ben’s support for prosecuting Ahmed Abu Khattala in federal court for violation of U.S. criminal laws. I have pointed out for many years that civil liberties groups have been disingenuous in suggesting that every individual detained or turned over to the U.S. military in Afghanistan in . . .
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Why the Hostility to Civilian Justice Anyway?

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 9:19 AM

I agree with Jack that military detention or trial by military commission are likely not available options for Ahmed Abu Khattala. But I’m hung up on a different point: Why are so many conservatives so married to the idea that detention or military justice is the right answer here? Every time we capture a terrorist suspect now, . . .
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Civilian Trial is the Only Option for Abu Khattala

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 7:08 AM

Many have criticized the Obama administration’s plans to try the alleged leader of the Benghazi, Ahmed Abu Khattala, in civilian court.  “Ahmed Abu Khattala should be held at Guantanamo as a potential enemy combatant,” said Senator Lindsey Graham.  Representative Trey Gowdy, who is leading the House committee investigating the Benghazi attack, argued for “a noncivilian . . .
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A Few Additional Thoughts on Daoud

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 8:52 AM

I largely agree with Steve Vladeck’s excellent post on Judge Richard Posner’s decision yesterday in Daoud and Judge Ilana Rovner’s concurrence in that decision. In particular, I agree that Judge Posner’s language is too glib, his dismissal of the defense’s conundrum in cases—in which lack of access to the underlying FISA application frustrates a Franks motion—too cheerful, . . .
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Judge Posner v. Judge Rovner: On Daoud, FISA, and Franks

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 7:56 AM

Paul already flagged yesterday’s Seventh Circuit decision in Daoud, in which the Court of Appeals reversed Judge Coleman’s headline-grabbing order—which had required the government to provide Daoud’s security-cleared defense counsel with access to all of the classified materials the government had submitted in support of its applications for FISA warrants in Daoud’s case. I have . . .
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9/11 Case Motions Hearing: June 16 Session

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Monday, June 16, 2014 at 8:57 AM

At 0900, the fun resumes at Fort Meade’s Smallwood Hall, where (as always) your correspondent will view, via CCTV, pre-trial proceedings in United States v. Mohammed et al.   On the agenda for our two-day mini-hearing: filings and argument bearing on the defense’s discovery, in April, that FBI investigators had questioned a member of Ramzi binalshibh’s . . .
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Statement From the Chief Prosecutor on This Week’s Hearing in the 9/11 Case

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Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 9:46 PM

You’ll find it here.  We’ll cover the two-day mini-hearing, which will commence tomorrow at 0900 down at Guantanamo. The statement opens: Good evening and Happy Father’s Day. I refer to Father’s Day with a heavy heart because I know it is a difficult reminder for the fathers who have lost children, and for the sons and . . .
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Military Commission Charges Approved Against Abd Al Hadi Al-Iraqi

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 9:41 AM

The Convening Authority’s sign-off came yesterday, and now allows the Guantanamo case to proceed to arraignment.  There are five charges in all—including denying quarter, attacking protected property, using treachery or perfidy, and (importantly) conspiracy, lasting from 1996 to October 29, 2006, to commit those and other offenses.   As readers know well by now, the case tees up an important test within the commissions—both . . .
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Today in Al-Nashiri

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Friday, May 30, 2014 at 12:10 PM

No open session today, either; only an ex parte, in camera session between the court and prosecutors. Which is to say: this week’s hearing has come to a close, so far as Lawfare’s coverage is concerned. UPDATE [2:15 p.m.]: the Chief Prosecutor’s remarks on the hearing can be found here.  The opening paragraphs are below.

Today in Al-Nashiri: Closed Session

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Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Today promises only closed argument on the government’s motion to have the military judge reconsider his order for extensive discovery into the CIA’s RDI program.  (Open argument was held yesterday.)  We’ll thus pause our military commissions coverage.  It remains to be seen whether tomorrow will feature open proceedings, or any proceedings at all; stay tuned.

Al-Nashiri Motions Hearing: May 28 Session

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Down at Guantanamo, pre-trial proceedings will resume this morning in the military commission case of United States v. Al-Nashiri.  As always, courtroom discussion will be piped to a closed-circuit viewing facility here at Maryland’s Fort Meade, in almost-real-time.  (There’s a forty-second delay in the audio and video.) We understand that a Rule 505 session—regarding the handling . . .
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Senators Feinstein and Levin on 9/11 Case Delay, RDI Declassification

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Friday, May 23, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Made available today: a letter from Senators Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin, which was sent to President Obama in January of this year and urged him to speed things up in the 9/11 case—chiefly by declassifying additional information regarding the CIA’s long-since-discontinued program of rendition, detention and interrogation. (The Obama Administration’s response, from then-White House Counsel . . .
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New Trial Date Set for February 2015 in Al-Nashiri

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Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 1:30 PM

This marks the most significant among many dates set by the Second Amended Scheduling Order, in the military commission case of United States v. Al-Nashiri.  The ruling was issued on May 9 (and in response to defense requests), but only recently made its way through Guantanamo’s security morass. It remains to be seen whether this revised schedule will stick. . . .
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