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Category Archives: Terrorism Trials: Civilian Court

DC Circuit Temporarily Stays United States’ Appeal in Al-Nashiri, Pending Consideration of Mandamus Petition

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 8:55 PM

The order grants a motion filed by Al-Nashiri, and was handed down today by Circuit Judges Cornelia Pillard and Judith Rogers, over the dissent of Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh. It’s gist is temporarily to pause the government’s appeal, to the Court of Military Commission Review (“CMCR”), of the dismissal of some (though not all) of the capital military . . .
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Detainee Transferred from Afghanistan to US for Trial: A Model for GTMO Closure?

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 6:28 PM

A very interesting development today with respect to the ongoing effort to complete the shut-down of US-administered military detention in Afghanistan: As you may recall, we have long since ceased holding any Afghans in military detention in Afghanistan, but we have maintained a rump population of non-Afghan detainees in our control. It has been clear . . .
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Russian Bagram Detainee Set for Federal Prosecution in U.S.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Or so I gather from this Washington Post piece, which opens thusly: A Russian captured fighting with insurgents in Afghanistan and held for years at a detention facility near Bagram air base will be flown to the United States to be prosecuted in federal court, according to U.S. officials. The move marks the first time a foreign . . .
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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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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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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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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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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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Al-Nashiri Motions Hearing, August 4 Session

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Monday, August 4, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Today your correspondent returns to Fort Meade, to take in CCTV-broadcasted, pre-trial hearings in the military commission case of United States v. Al-Nashiri.  The hearing gets underway at Guantanamo at 0900. As always, we’ll post dispatches on the day’s events, in our “Events Coverage” section.  You’ll find links to those posts below, too. 8/4 Session #1: . . .
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The Most Redacted Judicial Opinion I’ve Ever Seen

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 9:27 AM

The Guantanamo cases have nothing on this opinion from the 7th Circuit in the Daoud case. (hat tip: Josh Blackman)

A Severance Order in the 9/11 Case

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

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

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

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

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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 . . .
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Next Abu Khattala Status Hearing Slated for September

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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.) . . .
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Abu Khattala Subject to Pre-Trial Detention

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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 . . .
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The Government’s Abu Khatallah Detention Memo

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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 . . .
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Khatalla Transitions from Military to Civilian Custody

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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, . . .
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