Skip to content

Category Archives: Terrorism Trials

Terrorism Trials

A Severance Order in the 9/11 Case

By
Friday, July 25, 2014 at 9:59 AM

The Washington Post reports of a new ruling from the military judge yesterday—which I have yet to see, and which isn’t yet available on the military commissions’ website.  The gist: A military judge ruled Thursday that one of the five defendants being tried at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for their alleged roles in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks be . . .
Read more »

Ruling from U.S. District Court for D.C. in Ameziane v. Obama

By
Monday, July 21, 2014 at 3:54 PM

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has denied Djamel Ameziane’s petition for habeas relief and granted the government’s motion to dismiss in Amezaine v. Obama. You can find the court order here and the full memorandum opinion from Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle here. Money quote: Because it is undisputed that petitioner is no longer “in custody” for . . .
Read more »

Al Bahlul and Article III: A Reply to Marty and Steve

By
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Marty and Steve’s post on al Bahlul (and Steve’s post here) is right that the D.C. Circuit’s decision should not be read as a green light for inchoate conspiracy charges in military commissions.  However, Marty and Steve go off course in magnifying the modest issues remanded to the panel in al Bahlul, particularly the impact . . .
Read more »

A Brief Reply to Jack and Peter on Al Bahlul

By
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 1:51 PM

This morning, Marty Lederman and I have posted a detailed analysis of Monday’s en banc D.C. Circuit decision in al Bahlul—and what it portends for the future of military commissions, especially with respect to offenses not recognized as international war crimes. As Marty and I conclude, “Monday’s decision . . . underscores the serious constitutional . . .
Read more »

Bahlul and the Power of Congress to Define International Law

By
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 10:00 AM

In Al-Bahlul, the en banc D.C. Circuit resolved some quite important issues regarding military commissions, but declined to address other no less important ones. Among other things, the full court opted to remand the question of Congress’s Article I power to make inchoate conspiracy an offense triable by commission. When a three-judge panel once more . . .
Read more »

A Rough Overview of Today’s Ruling in Al-Bahlul

By and
Monday, July 14, 2014 at 7:45 PM

This morning, the full D.C. Circuit resolved military commission defendant Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al-Bahlul’s’s long-running appeal, in split fashion: by rejecting al Bahlul’s challenge to his conspiracy conviction, but also by vacating his convictions for material support and solicitation. Now it seems additional arguments regarding the conspiracy count will be considered further, by the . . .
Read more »

En Banc D.C. Circuit Opinion in Al-Bahlul

By
Monday, July 14, 2014 at 10:29 AM

I am thumbing through the long-awaited and seemingly split ruling, which opens as follows: Opinion for the court filed by Circuit Judge HENDERSON. Concurring opinion filed by Circuit Judge HENDERSON. Opinion concurring in the judgment in part and dissenting filed by Circuit Judge ROGERS. Opinion concurring in the judgment in part and dissenting in part . . .
Read more »

The Drone Memo Makes It Clear: Khadr’s Conviction Lacks Legal Foundation

By
Monday, July 14, 2014 at 9:15 AM

As readers of this blog will know, after the Second Circuit released a redacted copy of the OLC’s “drone memo,” those of us who represent Omar Khadr filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review (“CMCR”) arguing that it undermined the validity of his convictions.  In due course, the government filed its . . .
Read more »

A New Judge In Al-Nashiri’s Military Commission

By
Friday, July 11, 2014 at 9:04 AM

According to a detailing memorandum issued yesterday (and this piece in the Miami Herald) the new military judge for Al-Nashiri’s military commission will be Air Force Col. Vance Spath. The prior military judge in Al-Nashiri’s case, Army Col. James Pohl, opted to step aside and to assign Spath.  As explained in the memorandum, Pohl did so in . . .
Read more »

Exporting the Preemptive Prosecution Model: AG Holder on Countering the Syrian Foreign Fighter Threat

By
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 7:49 PM

Attorney General Holder gave an important speech in Oslo today, highlighting the threat posed by “foreign fighters” in Syria who may one day return to Europe or the United States.  He advocated a four-pronged approach that he urged all concerned countries to involve, including (i) adoption of the sort of criminal laws that have enabled . . .
Read more »

Next Abu Khattala Status Hearing Slated for September

By
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 2:06 PM

At today’s brief status hearing for Ahmed Abu Khattala, U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper set September 9 as the date for the case’s next status hearing, and ruled to exclude the time until then from computation under the Speedy Trial Act.  (The latter prescribes certain time limits for completing the various stages of a federal criminal prosecution.) . . .
Read more »

USG Opposes Khadr’s Bid to Lift Stay, Vacate Conviction Based on OLC Memo

By
Monday, July 7, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Today, counsel for the United States asked the Court of Military Commission Review (“CMCR”) to bat away Omar Khadr’s recent effort to lift the stay of his appeal to that court, and to have his guilty plea overturned. The D.C. Circuit’s long awaited resolution of al-Bahlul stood to affect Khadr’s appeal; thus the CMCR had stayed the latter, pending further . . .
Read more »

Abu Khattala Subject to Pre-Trial Detention

By
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Such was the exceedingly unshocking result of this morning’s exceedingly brief detention hearing in the criminal case against Ahmed Abu Khattala. In his remarks, prosecutor Michael DiLorenzo essentially summarized his side’s written filing. It had put forth various reasons why, under the Bail Reform Act, no conditions of release would ensure the public safety in advance of . . .
Read more »

Defense: OLC Memo Supports Invalidation of Omar Khadr’s Conviction

By
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 10:20 AM

I am actually a tad surprised that Monday’s filing did not come a touch more quickly.  It seemingly deals quite a whack to Omar Khadr’s 2010 plea of guilty to violations of the Military Commissions Act—including conspiracy, material support, and “murder in violation of the laws of war.”  (The latter is roughly synonymous with participating in hostilities but . . .
Read more »

The Government’s Abu Khatallah Detention Memo

By
Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Get yer copy right here. Highlights: In the days before the Attack, the defendant voiced concern and opposition to the presence of an American facility in Benghazi. On September 11, 2012, at approximately 9:45 p.m., a group of twenty or more armed men assembled outside the United States Special Mission in Benghazi (“Mission”) and then aggressively . . .
Read more »

Statement by Defense Counsel on Effort to Obtain CIA Black Site Evidence in 9/11 Case

By
Monday, June 30, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Detailed defense counsel for Ammar al Baluchi, also known as Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, had the following to say today, about a key filing in the 9/11 case: Today, counsel for Ammar al Baluchi filed a motion to compel the government to produce evidence of CIA torture of Mr. al Baluchi, following a similar order in . . .
Read more »

Khatalla Transitions from Military to Civilian Custody

By
Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 12:00 PM

[Update:  A colleague writes in to say that Khatalla may have been in "civilian" custody, formally speaking, all along.  That may be; I recall a statement after the capture to the effect that the raid was conducted in some fashion under color of FBI authority, albeit with substantial SOF involvement under that umbrella.  This approach, . . .
Read more »

Al-Bahlul to D.C. Circuit: OLC Memo Further Undermines USG Position on Appeal

By
Friday, June 27, 2014 at 8:03 PM

That’s the gist of this Rule 28(j) letter, regarding pertinent post-argument authority.  It was filed today with the D.C. Circuit by lawyers for Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al Bahlul, whose case could be decided any day now by the full appeals court. Here’s the key part: The OLC Memo begins its analysis with the U.S. Code. It concludes . . .
Read more »

Global (Statutory) Habeas After Aamer

By
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 4:00 PM

As my co-authors and I put the finishing touches on the 2014-15 Supplement to Aspen Publishers’ National Security Law and Counterterrorism Law casebooks, I had another thought about the potential consequences of the D.C. Circuit’s February 2014 decision in Aamer v. Obama—about which I’ve blogged a fair amount previously. Recall that, in Aamer, the D.C. Circuit held that the Supreme Court’s decision . . .
Read more »

An Editor’s Note

By
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 . . .
Read more »