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Category Archives: Terrorism Trials: Civilian Court

9/11 Case Motions Hearing: April 15 Session

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 8:48 AM

Tax day is upon us; so is day two in a four-day, pre-trial motions hearing in United States v. Mohammed et al.  (You can find coverage of yesterday’s quite brief open session here.) As always, Lawfare will file mini-updates on the hearing throughout the day, in our “Events Coverage” section—and link to those updates here. 4/15 Session #1: . . .
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Toward a Coherent Theory of the “Military Exception” to Article III

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 3:45 PM

My very first Lawfare post, back in December 2011, focused on the messy constitutional question raised by United States v. Ali—a case then pending before the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces that raised the constitutionality of subjecting civilian military contractors to military, rather than civilian, trials. Although they raise different questions, I was . . .
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The Terrorism Trial Debate and Abu Ghaith

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Friday, March 28, 2014 at 11:16 AM

In yesterday’s New York Times, Ben Weiser reported that Abu Ghaith’s case has renewed the “debate” over civilian terrorism trials. To my ear, this sounds a bit like today’s debates over New Coke, or the Dukakis Campaign. I haven’t had much to say about Abu Ghaith’s prosecution, because whole thing struck me as straightforward and . . .
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A Partial Answer to My Question

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 9:44 PM

The estimable Benjamin Weiser of the excellent New York Times news staff wrote me this afternoon response to my post earlier today about the government’s motion for pseudononymous testimony in the Sulaiman Abu Gayth case. I had reported that: Judge Kaplan, in a handwritten notation, appears to have rejected the motion two days later. He writes: “Motion . . .
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Government Seeks Testimony Under Pseudonym in Abu Gayth Case

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 6:30 AM

Speaking of the Sulaiman Abu Gayth case in Judge Lewis Kaplan’s courtroom in New York, check out this briefing. The government appears to have sought testimony under a pseudonym from a confidential witness—and been rebuffed by Judge Kaplan. The government’s motion was filed on January 31 and asked for the following: an Order (1) directing that . . .
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The Motion that Provoked the Access-to-KSM Order

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 5:25 AM

For those interested in that order the other day by Judge Lewis Kaplan’s giving defendant Sulaiman Abu Gayth access to KSM, here’s the motion that led to it.

No Hearings Next Week in the 9/11 Case

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Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 11:27 AM

That’s the word from Guantanamo.  We hope to have an updated schedule for the case soon; it looks like the next pre-trial session will be convened in April.

Next Week in the 9/11 Case

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Ordinarily, on a day like today, yours truly would remind the Interwebs’ military commission-watchers of a pretrial hearing, next week, in the 9/11 case.  Usually I would make a plug for Lawfare’s coverage.  I might also preview the legal issues to be addressed at length, or do so only in scant fashion, with only reference to . . .
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United States v. Daoud: Court Orders Disclosure of FISA Documents to Cleared Defense Counsel

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 3:21 PM

That’s the gist of  today’s ruling in this terrorism case, which is now pending in the Northern District of Illinois.  The order opens as follows: Defendant Adel Daoud is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2332a(a)(2)(D) and attempting to destroy a building by means of explosive in . . .
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Robin Simcox on Why Terrorists Can’t Always Be Prosecuted

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Monday, January 6, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Robin Simcox of the Henry Jackson Society in Britain writes in with the following thoughts on the difficulties of prosecuting terrorist suspects, a subject which he covered in this recent report: President Obama recently has struck a deal in Congress that will make it easier to transfer detainees out of the Guantánamo Bay detention center. This . . .
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CTA9 Decides Al-Nashiri v. MacDonald

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Friday, December 20, 2013 at 1:56 PM

I’ve only skimmed this unsurprising ruling from the panel, which affirms the district court’s dismissal of the detainee’s suit against the military commissions’ Convening Authority. From its opening: Abd Al Rahim Hussein Al-Nashiri is a noncitizen “enemy combatant” undergoing proceedings before a military commission at the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The charges . . .
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Overview of Restrictions on Counsel in the Tsarnaev and 9/11 Cases

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Monday, December 2, 2013 at 3:00 PM

From the defense’s standpoint, which are more onerous: restrictions on lawyers in civilian terrorism cases or restrictions used in military commissions? Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is currently challenging Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) imposed on him and his attorneys; Judge George O’Toole of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts heard argument on . . .
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The First Circuit and the First Amendment

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Friday, November 15, 2013 at 6:42 AM

This week’s much-anticipated decision by the First Circuit in Mehanna v. United States, which Matt Danzer summarizes here, offers more guidance on the First Amendment and terrorism than Ben and the always-thoughtful Marty Lederman have suggested.  As Ben and Marty note, the court affirmed Mehanna’s conviction for material support of terrorism based on evidence that . . .
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The Tarek Mehanna Decision: A Brief Summary

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Friday, November 15, 2013 at 6:26 AM

As Ben previewed yesterday, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, in an opinion written by Judge Bruce M. Selya, affirmed the conviction of Tarek Mehanna on a number of terrorism and false statement charges stemming from a trip he took to Yemen in 2004. The terrorism charges focus primarily on Mehanna’s conspiracies and attempt “to . . .
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The Air Goes Out of the Balloon: The Tarek Mehanna Appeal

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Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 8:40 PM

We will post a full summary of the First Circuit Court of Appeals’s decision in the case of Tarek Mehanna soon. A brief thought in the interim. The Mehanna case sparked a big First Amendment debate—on this site between David Cole and Peter Margulies (see also here and here)—during and after his prosecution in Massachusetts for . . .
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Tsarnaev Files Reply in Support of Motion to Vacate Special Administrative Measures

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Friday, November 8, 2013 at 11:00 AM

On Monday, accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev filed his reply to the government’s response to his motion to vacate special administrative measures (SAMs) imposed on him and his attorneys. In his filing, Tsarnaev rejects the government’s claim that the court lacks jurisdiction to consider his motion, and he reiterates that the measures are not properly authorized and violate the Constitution. Tsarnaev opens . . .
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Attorney General Eric Holder Claims Vindication on KSM Trial

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 8:11 AM

The Washington Post reports comments by Attorney General Eric Holder on the pace of military commissions at a news conference yesterday: “I think that had we gone along the path that I announced at that time, we would not have had to close down half of Manhattan. It wouldn’t have cost $200 million a year,” Holder said . . .
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Government Files Response to Tsarnaev’s Motion to Vacate Special Administrative Measures

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Last Monday, the government filed its response to accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s motion to vacate the special administrative measures (SAMs) imposed on him and his attorneys. (We previously described the measures and Tsarnaev’s challenge here.) In essence, the opposition filing makes two arguments: first, that the court lacks jurisdiction to consider Tsarnaev’s motion because he failed to exhaust his . . .
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Second Circuit Affirms District Court Judgment in Ghailani

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Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Big news out of the Second Circuit today: a three-judge panel has affirmed the conviction and life sentence of Ahmed Ghailani, for his role in the U.S. Embassy bombings in 1998. Ghailani put forth three broad arguments in his appeal: first, that his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial was violated; second, that the district court . . .
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A Bad Idea Recycled

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 11:56 AM

If a capture comes, can calls to send the terrorist to Guantanamo be far behind? Apparently not. ABC News is reporting that GOP Senators Lindsey Graham, Kelly Ayotte, and Saxby Chambliss are calling for Abu Anas al-Libi to be taken to Guantanamo Bay: Republican Senators Lindsey Graham, Kelly Ayotte and Saxby Chambliss said today it was . . .
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