Legal Aspects of Terrorism
AELE Home Page
Federal Laws and Guidelines:
of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen Who Is a Senior Operational
Leader of Al-Qa'ida or An Associated Force (2011).
Military Commissions Act of 2006: Analysis of Procedural Rules and Comparison
with Previous DOD Rules and the Uniform Code of Military Justice (updated
Sep. 27, 2007). http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33688.pdf
Response Plan, Department of Homeland
Security, 426 pgs.(January 6, 2005). Describes how federal agencies
will work with state, local, and tribal governments in the event of an
emergency--naturally occurring or terrorist imposed. [PDF]
- S. 2845, the Intelligence
Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, as passed by the Congress.
- The President's Memorandum
to the Director of Central Intelligence regarding the strengthening
Central Intelligence Agency capabilities and Memorandum
to the Attorney General regarding further strengthening of Federal
Bureau of Investigation capabilities (11-23-2004).
Report of The National Commission
on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9-11
Commission). July 22, 2004. 7.22 megabyte file. [PDF].
- SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE REPORT ON THE U.S. INTELLIGENCE
COMMUNITY'S PREWAR INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENTS ON IRAQ (Released July 9, 2004)
The Senate Select Committee On Intelligence Released Its 521-Page Report,
Unanimously Approved By The Committee, Detailing Pre-War Intelligence Regarding
Iraq's Weapons Of Mass Destruction Programs, Ties To Terrorists, Threat
To Regional Stability And Violations Of Human Rights. The Report Was Heavily
Redacted By The Central Intelligence Agency Prior To Release. Complete
Iraq Report (24 MB - CAUTION Large File) [PDF] http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/iraq/sic70904iraqrpt.pdf
to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States:
The FBI's Counter-terrorism Program Since September 2001. [PDF] 80
pages, (FBI, April 14, 2004).
- "Risks Facing Key Border and Transportation Security
Program Need to Be Addressed," U.S. General Accounting Office Report
GAO-03-1083 to Congressional Committees 9/17/2003 (PDF, 104 pp.). http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d031083.pdf
- Memorandum of Understanding on the integration and use
of screening information to protect against terrorism (Sep. 16, 2003).
- Comprehensive list of legislation inspired by the attack
of Sept. 11, 2001 (on Thomas) http://thomas.loc.gov/home/terrorleg.htm
- Declassified version of the Congressional joint inquiry
report on the September 11 terrorist attacks, released July 2003, following
a seven-month declassification process. The 858 page document (in a 6.5mb
PDF file) is at:
Justice Department Guidelines, issued by the Attorney General on May
30, 2002. Includes guidelines on "General Crimes, Racketeering and
Terrorism Investigations," "FBI Undercover Operations,"
"Confidential Informants," and "Lawful, Warrantless Monitoring
of Verbal Communications."
- Department of Justice Emergency
Preparedness: Guidance and General Information. Justice Management
Division (February 2003).
of Global Terrorism" Report 2003, U.S. State Department (April
2004). (A 7.4 megabyte .pdf file). Individual sections may be downloaded
in .pdf format here.
Individual sections of the report may be access in .html format here.
NOTE: Corrected Year
in Review, Appendix
A, and Appendix
G were posted on June 22, 2004. (Numbers in the overall report text,
specifically numbers of killed and wounded, will subsequently be revised
to reflect the corrected Appendices. Until that occurs, reference should
be made to these supplemental files). Also, a new fact sheet Chronology
of Non-Significant International Terrorist Incidents, 2003 was released
on June 22, 2004. (An International Terrorist Incident is judged non-significant
if it does not result in a loss of life or serious injury to persons, major
property damage (more than $10,000), and/or is not an act or attempted
act that could reasonably be expected to create the conditions noted).
of Global Terrorism" Report 2002, U.S. State Department (April
2003). (A 40.3 megabyte .pdf file). Individual sections may be downloaded
in .pdf format here.
Individual sections of the report may be accessed in .html format here.
of Global Terrorism" Report 2001, U.S. State Department (May
2002). (A 34 megabyte .pdf file). General description of report (with links
to particular sections) at: http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/dos/trrpt2001/
Tribunal Rules -- Military Commission Order issued by the U.S. Dept.
of Defense (Mar. 21, 2002).
- OSHA guidelines
on assessing risks of anthrax in the workplace (Nov. 16, 2001).
- President Bush's Military
Order: Retention, Treatment and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War
Against Terrorism (Nov. 13, 2001).
- Federal Bureau of Prisons: Rule, "National
Security, Prevention of Acts of Violence and Terrorism," 66 Federal
Register 55061-55066 (Oct. 31, 2001).
- Text of the anti-terrorism guidelines issued by the Justice
Dept. (Oct. 30, 2001).
Link » http://www.epic.org/privacy/terrorism/DOJ_guidance.pdf
- Presidential Executive Order: Critical Infrastructure
Protection in the Information Age (Oct. 16, 2001).
Link » http://www.iwar.org.uk/cip/resources/bush/executive-order.htm
Proposed Federal Laws and Guidelines:
5934 would express the sense of Congress that the public safety exception
to the constitutional requirement for Miranda warnings allows unwarned
interrogation of terrorism suspects for as long as is necessary to protect
the public from pending or planned attacks when a significant purpose of
the interrogation is to gather intelligence and not solely to elicit testimonial
Efforts to Address the Threat of Bioterrorism: Selected Issues for Congress,
Congressional Research Service (March 2010).
Link » http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/R41123.pdf
legislation Congress is considering: the State
Bioterrorism Preparedness Act (H.R. 3153 & S. 1520); the Cyber
Security Enhancement Act of 2001 (H.R. 3482); and the Cyberterrorism
Preparedness Act of 2002 (S. 1900).
Against Domestic Terrorism Act of 2001 to help prepare the country
for acts of terrorism and natural disasters, such as a fire, flood, explosion
or other catastrophe.
Laws and Guidelines:
Emergency Health Powers Act, drafted at the request of the Centers
for Disease Control by the Center
for Law and the Public's Health (Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities),
released on Oct. 30, 2001.
Weapons of Mass Destruction hoax and threat law
Dec. 17, 2002, the City of Oakland, CA, became the 20th municipality to
pass a resolution barring its employees
from cooperating with federal officials who investigate city residents
under the USA Patriot Act, if the request is "in violation of individuals'
civil rights or civil liberties."
Developments & News:
Circuit rules that the Dept. of Justice must release a memo on the legal
basis for using drone strikes to kill American citizens abroad. New
York Times Co. v. United States, #13-422-cv, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 7387
Detention of U.S.
Persons as Enemy Belligerents, Congressional Research Service, #R42337
(April 11, 2012).
Federal Cost Estimates
for Security Classification Activities (FY 2011)).
The State Secrets
Privilege and Other Limits on Litigation Involving Classified Information,
Congressional Research Service #R40603 (May 28, 2009).
court denies a Writ of Habeas Corpus to an "enemy combatant"
in military custody. "It is not necessary ... that petitioner actually
fire a weapon against the U.S. or coalition forces in order for him to
be classified as an enemy combatant ... Petitioner has not only admitted
to serving under an al Qaeda military commander, but his close ties to
Taliban and al Qaeda affiliated forces as a member of the Arab Brigade
unit, albeit in a non-front-line capacity, is more than enough." Al
Bihani v. Obama, #05-1312, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 5713 (D.D.C.).
Supreme Court in Boumediene
v. Bush, No. 06-1195, 2008 U.S. Lexis 4887, rules that aliens detained
at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as enemy combatants after their capture in Afghanistan
or elsewhere overseas are constitutionally entitled to pursue claims for
habeas corpus, and finds that the procedures provided in a 2005 statute
for review of the detainees' status are inadequate and constitute an unconstitutional
suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. In another case, Munaf
v. Geren, No. 06-1666, 2008 U.S. Lexis 4888, decided the same day,
June 12, 2008, the Court ruled that the habeas corpus statute applies to
U.S. citizens held overseas by U.S. military forces, such as in Iraq, even
if those forces are operating as a component of an multinational coalition.
The U.S. citizens being detained had traveled voluntarily to Iraq and are
alleged to have committed crimes there. The Court further ruled, however,
that the particular plaintiffs in that case were not entitled to relief
to enjoin the U.S. from transferring them to the custody of Iraqi authorities
for criminal prosecution.
York appellate panel affirms a jury verdict that the Port Authority was
more than two-thirds responsible for the 1993 terrorist bombing of the
World Trade Center that killed six persons and injured more than a thousand.
v. Port Auth. of N.Y. & N.J., #129074/93, 2008 N.Y. App. Div.
Lexis 374, 2008 NY Slip Op. 03991 (1st Dept.).
of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, " U.N. Commission
on Human Rights (Feb. 2006).
Court decision: Hamdan
v. Rumsfeld, #05-184 (Jun. 29, 2006).
of Defense Rules for Military Commissions: Analysis
of Procedural Rules and Comparison with Proposed Legislation and the Uniform
Code of Military Justice (updated Jul. 25, 2006).
Commissions in the Global War on Terrorism (July 6, 2006).
of suspected terrorists: U.S. Supreme Court rules that foreign nationals
detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, captured in Afghanistan hostilities,
have a right to access to U.S. courts to challenge the legality of their
detention, and that U.S. citizen detained as an "enemy combatant"
for allegedly fighting against the U.S. in Afghanistan, also had a due
process right to access to a "neutral decision maker" to challenge
the factual basis for his detention. In a third case involving a U.S. citizen
detained as an "enemy combatant" on U.S. soil for alleged involvement
in terrorist conspiracy, Court does not reach ultimate issues because of
procedural defects in court filing. Rasul
v. Bush, No. 03-334, 2004 U.S. Lexis 4760; Hamdi
v. Rumsfeld, No. 03-6696, 2004 U.S. Lexis 4761; Rumsfeld
v. Padilla, No. 03-1027, 2004 U.S. Lexis 4759.
suit against the Secret Service: A civil action was filed on behalf
of various organizations and demonstrators, naming the Secret Service and
the Philadelphia Police. It complains that officers and agents violated
the free speech rights of anti-President protesters.
Community Assn. v. Ashcroft and Mueller (.pdf format). (lawsuit challenging
the constitutionality of Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, expanding
FBI power to obtain records and other "tangible things" sought
for an ongoing foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, or international
Re: D-J-, Respondent,
23 I&N Dec. 572 (A.G. 2003). (.pdf format). Interim decision #3448.
April 17, 2003 decision of U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. He found
that illegal immigrants could be held indefinitely without bond if their
cases present national security concerns. The opinion was requested by
the Homeland Security Department, which now has authority over most immigration
matters, after the Board of Immigration Appeals upheld a judge's decision
to release a Haitian asylum-seeker on $2,500 bond. Ashcroft ordered that
this decision be vacated, and that the asylum-seeker be denied bond and
detained "pending appropriate disposition and proceedings respecting
his status under the immigration laws."
Re: Sealed Case No. 02-001 (Nov. 18, 2002). Federal appellate ruling
overturning a May 2002 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinion
and holding that the USA Patriot Act provides the government with
much discretion in the use of wiretaps in investigations of terror and
espionage. (.pdf format).
on Airline Liability for Terrorist Acts, Civil Suits Against Terrorists
and Terrorist Organizations, Foreign Terrorist Organizations, Pre-Boarding
Searches, International Searches and Seizures and Selective Prosecution:
Link » http://news.findlaw.com/legalnews/us/terrorism/cases/background.html
postal workers' Complaint against the Postmaster General, alleging a failure
to protect them from anthrax.
Link » http://news.findlaw.com/cnn/docs/usps/smithpttr102901cmp.pdf
about "hoax" cases (false reports of terrorist activity):
Link » http://news.findlaw.com/legalnews/us/terrorism/cases/hoax.html