Criminal Law: Substantive

Latest in Criminal Law: Substantive

Federal Law Enforcement

How Dimaya v. Sessions Has Affected Sentencing for Terrorism Convictions

In August, two convicted terrorists were released from prison unexpectedly early. The two originally received enhanced sentences under a statute that established mandatory minimum sentence extensions for the use of a firearm in conjunction with a violent felony, but the judge who released them held that the statute was unconstitutional under Sessions v. Dimaya, a case the Supreme Court decided in April.

Criminal Law: Substantive

Indictment of US Citizen Who Trained with al Nusrah and Returned to Attack

A grand jury in Ohio has indicted Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, a recently-naturalized US citizen and resident of Columbus, with two material support counts (and one false statement count) based on allegations that he traveled to Syria to fight, that he received military-style training from al Nusrah, and that he came back to the United States after receiving directions from "a cleric in the organization" who told him "he should return to the United States and carry out an act of terrorism


Did the FBI Just Prevent an Attack in DC from a Homegrown ISIS Supporter?

A very, very big arrest in Cincinnati today, involving allegations that a man named Christopher Cornell (online alias Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah) had planned to travel to DC in order to carry out an attack (via assault rifle) at the Capitol. It appears Cornell was arrested today after he purchased two ArmaLite M-15s. How did the FBI know?

Interrogation: Legislative Development

9/11 Defense Counsel on the CIA's Response to the SSCI Study

James Connell III, lawyer for 9/11 accused Ammar al-Baluchi, had this to say today:

"The CIA and its defenders are using Mr. al Baluchi as a scapegoat for its illegal and reprehensible use of torture," said James Connell, civilian attorney for Mr. al Baluchi.  "The United States spent incredible amounts of money, energy, and American credibility, and now the CIA is pointing at Mr.

Criminal Law: Substantive

The D.C. Circuit's Mandamus Jurisdiction and the Legitimacy of the Military Commissions

It now appears that the next military commissions case in which the D.C. Circuit will hear oral argument is that of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri ("Nashiri"), with oral argument scheduled before an as-yet unnamed three-judge panel on Tuesday, February 10, 2015.

Terrorism Investigations: Domestic

Will the Supreme Court Take Up Mehanna?

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.

Terrorism Trials: Civilian Court

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

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 the United States to intervene preemptively in terrorism-related cases (particularly the "material support" concept), (ii) use of undercover operations to smoke out suspects, (iii) better international information-sharing regarding persons traveling to and from

Terrorism Trials & Investigations

Abu Khattala Subject to Pre-Trial Detention

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 Abu Khattala's trial.

Terrorism Trials: Legislative Development: Article III Courts

Toward a Coherent Theory of the “Military Exception” to Article III

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.

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