In yesterday’s New York Times, Ben Weiser reported that Abu Ghaith’s case has renewed the “debate” over civilian terrorism trials.
Latest in Criminal Law: Substantive
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 the list of motions scheduled for argument. But one way or another, I would try to give folks some flavor of what’s in store.
But today is a little differen
Al Nusrah/Al Shabaab Supporters Brought to the US for Prosecution, and other Terrorism Prosecution News
Some interesting terrorism-prosecution developments over the past few days that are worth noting.
United States v. Mohammed (S.D. Fla.) First, a pair of men (one leaving in Kenya, and the other--who happens to be a naturalized US citizen--living in Saudi Arabia) are in custody in the US facing material support charges based on their efforts to raise funds for al Shabaab and al Nusrah/AQI. Details are sketchy as yet, but it appears the men were arrested abroad--not sure where or by whom--and then turned over to US authorities and rendered back to the U.S.
There will be no shortage of charges in the indictment that will issue against Tsarnaev shortly. Many if not most will be ordinary violent-crime charges rather than terrorism-specific ones--though they'll be no less potent for that. But what about charges from among the set of offenses enumerated in the "Terrorism" chapter of U.S.
Peter Margulies of Roger Williams School of Law writes in with the following thoughts on the First Circuit briefing in the Tarek Mehanna appeal:
The federal material support statute forces courts and juries to distinguish independent speech that supports terrorism from speech coordinated with a foreign terrorist group (FTO), such as Al Qaeda. That challenge is front and center in Mehanna v.
Now this is a strange and interesting case. You may have seen an interesting post recently at Foreign Policy describing a US citizen (and former soldier in the US Army) named Eric Harroun, who appeared to have gone off to fight against the Assad regime in Syria, possibly falling in with al Nusrah (an outgrowth of AQI that has been prominent in the fighting). Well, Eric Harroun is back in America now, and he is being prosecuted.
The criminal complaint and accompanying FBI a
The Ahmed Warsame case (Warsame is the al Shabaab member captured by US forces while attempting to return to Somalia after a period of training with AQAP in Yemen, who was then held for two months in military detention at sea undergoing interrogation and then later transferred to face criminal prosecution in NYC) is a fine example of the way in which the executive branch can, in the right circumstances, blend its military and law enforcement authorities to achieve a good balance between the interests of short-term intelligence-gathering and long-term incapacitation. Or so it seems so long as
We appreciate Jack’s quick and comprehensive clarification of his views—and of what the CGWW proposal we critiqued last night seeks to achieve. Like Jack, we want to start by emphasizing the many areas of agreement between us and CGWW in order to help illuminate the key points of disagreement.
In the very first days after the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bush Administration asked Congress for broad statutory authorization to use military force to “deter and pre-empt any future acts of terrorism or aggression against the United States”—that is to say, for statutory authorization of what that Administration called a “Global War on Terrorism.” But even then, when our uncertainty, fear, and pain were felt most acutely, Congress pushed back: It refused to give the Administration such an open-ended authority to use military force against all possible future terrorist threat
Further to my last post on the capture and prosecution of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, I now want to share a few thoughts on the prosecution side of things.
The indictment has been unsealed, and is now available here. It appears to be the 13th superseding indictment in the long-running case that began in 1998 after the East African embassy bombings--98 Cr.