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Gov't Appeals Tounisi Bail Order, Bail Order Revoked

Yesterday, 18 year old Abdella Tounisi, the latest terror sting victim of the FBI, was ordered released on bail by a U.S. Magistrate Court Judge. The Government immediately appealed to the District Court Judge who today reversed the Magistrate Court Judge. Tounisi will remain in custody.

Here's the story if you haven't been following the case. [More...]

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More Unauthorized Leaks of Tsarnaev Post-Arrest Statements

All it takes is for one or two unnamed federal law enforcement officials to make an unsubstantiated claim and every media outlet runs with it as if it is true. The latest: Claims that Dzhokhar Tsnarnev told the FBI the bombs for Boston were made in the apartment Tamerlan Tsarnaev shared with his wife and that the brothers initially planned on bombing Boston on the 4th of July but it was so easy to build the bombs they moved up their timetable

Via CNN:

The bombs used in the Boston Marathon attack were built in the apartment that suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev shared with his wife and child, a U.S. law enforcement official with first-hand knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Thursday. The official was not authorized to release the information.

....Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, initially planned to carry out an attack on July 4, but their bombs were ready earlier than they expected and they decided to move up the date, a U.S. law enforcement official told CNN on Thursday.

Via ABC: [More...]

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Lynne Stewart May Get Early Release Due to Cancer

New York civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart has the backing of medical authorities at BOP Federal Medical Center Carswell to be released from her 10 year terrorism-related sentence due to advanced cancer. Her request will now go to the BOP and federal court, hopefully for approval.

You can read her press release here. Stewart has been battling cancer since 2006.

Stewart's conviction stretched the definition of material support to a terrorist organization to new limits. Here's a transcript of an interview she and her trial lawyer Michael Tigar gave after the jury found her guilty.

Lynne's website is here. You can sign the petition to free her here. [More...]

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Judy Clarke Appointed to Represent Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev just got the biggest gift of his life -- Judy Clarke has been appointed by the court to represent him along with the Federal Defenders.

Among the lives Judy has helped save: Jared Loughner, Eric Rudolph, Susan Smith, and Ted Kaczinski.

I wrote a week ago that her phone must be ringing off the hook, and I'm so glad she accepted the appointment. There is no one more suited for the task and more capable. More on Judy here and here.

Tsarnaev has become the new poster child for "the worst of the worst." If anyone can gain his trust to be able to provide him an effective defense and save his life, it's Judy.

Judy rarely talks to the media but last week, she was the keynote speaker at a Loyola Law School conference, and spoke a little bit about being a death defense lawyer.

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Solitary at Devens' Segregated Housing Unit

John Collauti, the public relations spokesman for the Federal Medical Center at Devens, says Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is in segregation in a small cell with a steel door that allows food to be passed through and prison officials to watch him.

Collauti said in a telephone interview that Tsarnaev is in secure housing where authorities can monitor him. His cell has a solid steel door with an observation window and a slot for passing food and medication.....[M]edical workers making rounds each shift monitor the inmates. He said guards also keep an eye on some cells with video cameras.

Also, inmates in the more restrictive section do not have access to TVs or radios, but can read books and other materials, he said.

In other words, he's in the hole. [More...]

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Moved From Hospital: Boston Updates

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been moved from the hospital to BOP's medical prison at Fort Devens. Here's an interesting overview of the facility from a brochure seeking psychology interns.

The New York Times has transcribed the interview his parents gave yesterday in Makhachkala, Russia.

Authorities now say the carjacking did not happen in Cambridge, but across the river in Allston. Also, they have been searching the Crapo Hill Landfill in New Bedford, perhaps for a computer.

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Time for a Gag Order in Boston Bombing Case

The law enforcement leaks are over the top. It is inexcusable that the FBI or law enforcement officials with whom they shared information are leaking details of a purported confession by Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The Washington Post has more leaks. Among the unnamed sources cited: A senior law enforcement official; a U.S. counter-terrorism official; "a U.S. official who has been briefed on the interrogation and who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing"; and a U.S. intelligence official. [More...]

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Legal Analogies to Boston Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Update 7:40 pm ET: CNN reports Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is awake and answering law enforcement's questions. No wonder the U.S. Attorney didn't file charges today. They didn't want a lawyer appointed who could demand to see him and advise him not to sign any waivers. The Boston Police Commissioner said today the brothers acted alone. Where's the continuing public safety threat? An internal FBI policy memo that extends the public safety exception beyond what the Supreme Court has authorized is not controlling law.

Can the Federal Defender file a "miscellaneous action" and ask to be appointed now for the limited purpose of advising him of his rights and request an order directing the FBI to allow them to meet with him before it attempts to secure any waivers?

Update 1:18 pm: It looks like the feds won't be able to use the Faisal Shahazad scenario with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He cannot speak at all due to being shot in the throat. Thus, it's unlikely he can be questioned at all, or that he would be able to provide a knowing and voluntary waiver of his right to timely appear before a judge and be appointed counsel after charges are filed and before presentment. Due to his injuries and inability to be questioned, reports now say charges will be filed, perhaps today, a judge will advise him at the hospital, and the public defender's representation would be effective upon advisement. [More...]

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Boston Bombing Developments: Saturday

Here's a thread to discuss continuing developments in the Boston Marathon Bombing case and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The Federal Defender in MA today said it expects its office to be appointed to be appointed.

What I've been reading:

What I'm not reading: Any of the garbage put out by Lindsay Graham. [More...]

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Guantanamo Judge Orders End to Secret Censoring of Hearing Testimony

An unnamed government agency has been secretly monitoring court proceedings in the pre-trial hearings of the 9/11 defendants at Guantanamo and pushing the censor button. The judge today ordered it to stop.

Army Col James Pohl ordered an unnamed government agency to remove censorship equipment, as a second round of pretrial hearings finished on Thursday....The judge said in his ruling that he had sole authority to decide when to close a hearing or stop spectators - including journalists and relatives of the victims - from listening to testimony.

From the transcript [Unofficial/Unauthenticated Transcript of the KSM et al. (2) Hearing Dated 1/31/2013 from 9:01 AM to 9:22 AM, accessible here.) [More...]

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Rana Sentencing: Judge Rejects Terror Enhancement

Tahawwur Rana, David Headley's co-defendant in the Chicago terror case related to the Mumbai bombings and planned attack on a Danish newspaper, was sentenced to 14 years today. The Government had sought a 30 year sentence.

Rana was convicted on two counts of a Superseding Indictment (Counts Eleven and Twelve) of conspiring to providing material support to a plot to attack a private newspaper in Denmark, the Jyllands-Posten, and providing material support to Lashkar e Tayyiba (“Lashkar” or “LeT”), a designated terrorist organization. The plot against the Jyllands-Posten was not executed, and no one was killed or injured.

Rana was acquitted on a third charge (Count Nine) which alleged that he conspired to provide material support to attacks in India, including the Mumbai attack in 2008. (Counts Nine and Eleven were charged as a conspiracy, Count 12 was charged as a substantive offense.)

The Judge rejected the Government's request to apply the terror enhancement guideline to Rana. Under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, the enhancement provides for a 12 level increase in the base offense level, and automatic placement in criminal history category VI (the highest category) if a defendant’s “offense is a felony that involved or was intended to promote a federal crime of terrorism.” [More...]

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Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Addresses the Court

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was allowed to address the military commission trial judge today at Guantanamo. When he was done, the judge said it will be the last time the defendants are allowed to comment on the course of proceedings:

Mohammed told the judge, Army Col. James Pohl, that "the government uses national security as it chooses," urging him to keep that in mind as he considers requests from defense lawyers and the American Civil Liberties Union to scale back the rules for evidence and testimony.

"Many can kill people under the name of national security, and to torture people under the name of national security," the Arabic-speaking Mohammed said through a translator. "And detain their underage children under the name of national security."

In an apparent reference to Osama bin Laden, Mohammed noted that "the president can take someone and throw them into the sea in the name of national security.

[More...]

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Diminished Media Presence at Gitmo for Tomorrow's Hearings

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other 9/11 defendants have hearings this week, beginning tomorrow at Guantanamo's court for military commissions -- their first hearings since May.

Reporters who are there tonight say on Twitter the number of reporters seems to have decreased by 50%. Some estimate only 25 reporters are there, and several of them are there for the first time, representing organizations such as Jesuit Weekly and the Bergen Record.

The defense lawyers complained today that the office space they were given is infested with rats, rat feces and mold and making them ill. They filed a Motion called "Mr. Mohammad's Emergency Motion to Delay the October 2012 Hearing due to Defense Offices Being Deemed Unsafe by the US Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay due to the Presence of Hazardous Mold, Rodents, and Rodent Feces." While (naturally) the motion and responses are sealed, the Court's one sentence order denying the motion is available on the docket (choose the active case for KSM from the dropdown list and then the link for all documents at the bottom or the docket link.) [More...]

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Abu Hamza's First U.S. Court Appearance

Cleric Abu Hamza, aka Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, aka Abu Hamza al-Masri, made his first court appearance in New York today, following his extradition yesterday from the UK.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's press release is here. The 2006 Second Superseding Indictment is here.

Along with Abu Hamza, four other alleged terrorists were flown to the U.S. Two will be tried in Connecticut, and three in New York. The other four are Khaled al-Fawwaz, Babar Ahmad, Adel Abdul Bary and Syed Talha Ahsan.

In exchange for allowing the extradition, the U.K. obtained a promise from the U.S. that all five would be tried in civilian courts and not face the death penalty.

The charges against Abu Hamza include conspiring to set up a training camp in Bly, Oregon. His co-defendant Oussama Kassir, from Sweden, was convicted at trial in 2009 and received life in prison, which he is serving at Supermax in Colorado. Kassir's conviction was upheld on appeal in 2011.[More....]

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Guantanamo Hearings Canceled for 911 Defendants

Stormy weather resulted in the cancellation of six days of hearings for the 911 defendants at Guantanamo, which scheduled to begin yesterday and first postponed until tomorrow.

he U.S. National Hurricane Center’s tracking map shows Tropical Storm Isaac crossing Haiti as a hurricane on Aug. 24 and striking Cuba before arriving at the Florida coast below Cape Coral on Aug. 27.

The hearings have not yet been rescheduled. 25 pretrial motions were on the agenda, including some by the media.

Defense lawyers, journalists and representatives of non- governmental organizations including Human Rights Watch were on hand to watch the proceedings.

The last hearing was in May. One of the defense lawyers said today trial is unlikely to occur until four years from now, due to the hundreds of motions that will be need to be resolved.

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