Terrorism-Related Case Briefs Research Paper

Length: 8 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Business - Law Type: Research Paper Paper: #76514757 Related Topics: Litigation, Hillary Clinton, Legal Brief, Legal Briefs
Excerpt from Research Paper :


United States of America (plaintiff) v. Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, Eyad Ismoil and Abdul Hakim Murad (defendants)


Ramzi Yousef, Eyad Ismoil also known as Eyad Ismail, and Abdul Hakim Murad also known as Saeed Ahmed were charged by the United States in a federal district court for conspiring to bomb twelve American commercial airlines in Southeast Asia. Following his entry in Manila, Philippines in 1994, Yousef developed a plan for the attack which incorporated five people placing bombs aboard the aircraft and exiting them at their first layoff. Together with other people, Yousef tested the plan on two incidents by placing smaller bombs in other aircrafts. This plan was discovered when the three accidentally started a fire when burning chemicals in the Manila apartment. The area police arrived at the scene and found plans to carry out the attacks on Yousef's computer as well as components for developing a bomb. Yousef, Ismoil, and Murad were arrested and charged with twenty counts of conspiracy in which they found guilty.

Prior Proceedings:

The case was initially brought before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. This district court denied pre-trial motions to several of the defendants in addition to claims that count twelve to nineteen should be eliminated. They advocated for the dismissal of these counts because the American government exceeded its authority in charging the defendants with criminal liability for conduct taking place outside the United States. In count twelve, the defendants were charged with breaching 18 U.S.C. § 371 by plotting to place bombs aboard aircraft and destroy aircraft in infringing of 18 U.S.C. § 33(a)(1) and (2). In count nineteen, the defendants were charged with breaching 18 U.S.C. § 32(b)(3) through placing a bomb on a civil aircraft registered in a foreign country. The court held that it had jurisdiction over the charges because these actions constituted terrorism and required universal jurisdiction based on the principle of customary international law principle. Therefore, the district court convicted the defendants in relation to the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City and 1993. The defendants appealed the conviction by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ("United States v. Yousef CB1," 2012).

Issues Presented or Questions of Law:

In the appeal, Yousef challenges the jurisdiction of the district court over counts twelve to nineteen. In essence, does the district court have jurisdiction over counts 12 to 19?

Arguments of Objectives of the Parties:

Yousef's appeal is based on the argument that the customary international law does not grant the basis for jurisdiction over the specified counts. Moreover, the defendant argues that the United States law is subordinate to international law and cannot be the basis for jurisdiction.

Holding/Rule of Law:

The Court of Appeals upheld the ruling of the district court on the basis that the defendants' arguments were without merit.


The district court had extraterritorial jurisdiction over the attempt by the defendants to damage an aircraft in foreign air commerce.

Relation of the Case to Terrorism-related Litigation:

This case relates to terrorism-related litigation with regards to the application of extraterritorial jurisdiction in determining criminal liability. Since the defendants attempted to carry out attacks on aircrafts in foreign air commerce, extraterritorial jurisdiction was applicable in their liability.


People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (petitioner) v. United States Department of State and Hillary Rodham Clinton in her position as Secretary of State (respondents)


The People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran filed for a judicial review of its designation as a "foreign terrorist organization" (FTO) by the Hillary Rodham Clinton, the then United States Secretary of State. The petitioner sought for the review of the decision of the Secretary of State to designate the organization and its designated aliases as a foreign terrorist organization. The petition was filed on February 11, 2009 based on 8 U.S.C. § 1189. The organization has petitioned the Secretary of State on July 15, 2008 for revocation of its...


§ 1189. The Secretary of State denied the petition through a Federal Registrar publication on January 12, 2009. As a result, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran filed for a judicial review.

Prior Proceedings:

The petition by this organization had not previously been presented before any other court or the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia where it was presented.

Issues Presented or Questions of Law:

One of the issues presented for review in the petition was the need to revoke the organization's designation due to lack of conclusive support to show it engages in terrorism or terror activities or the intention and capability to do so. Secondly, there was need to examine whether Clinton deprived the organization the due process of law because she failed to give the PMOI the opportunity to present arguments and evidence. In essence, the organization was questioning whether it was entitled to some kind of access to the classified part of the administrative record.

Arguments or Objectives of the Parties:

The organization's argument was that Clinton did not follow due process of the law by denying review to the petition without administrative support and evidence. However, the Secretary of State's decision was based on classified and unclassified material.

Holding/Rule of Law:

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held that the Secretary of State breached the due process of law. The Court held that Hillary Clinton had failed to assemble administrative record that provided substantial support for her decision, which implied that the organization's designation as an FTO must be help illegal and set aside.


The United States Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia had the jurisdiction to determine the petition pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1189. The Secretary of State's designation lacked substantial support in the administrative record as required by law. The Court explicitly invoked the standard of substantial evidence or support described in Consolidated Edison Co. v. NLRB, 305 U.S. 197, 229 (1938). However, the court held that Clinton's failure to offer necessary notice and unclassified material to PMOI prior to her decision was not harmless. Moreover, affording the opportunity to PMOI to review and rebut unclassified segments of administrative record may be adequate to provide the needed due process ("PMOI v. U.S. Department of State CB2," 2012).

Relation of Case to Terrorism-related Litigation:

The case relates to terrorism-related litigation in demonstrating the significance of following the due process of law when dealing with terrorist groups and organizations. The designation of an organization or group as a foreign terrorist organization requires substantial support and evidence to show engagement in terrorist activity or intention or capability to do so.


John D. Ashcroft (petitioner) v. Abdullah Al-Kidd (respondent)


The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Abdullah Al-Kidd in 2003 as he was planning to travel to Saudi Arabia to learn Arabic and Islamic law. Following his arrest, Al-Kidd was incarcerated for 16 days as a material witness in the trial of Sami Omar al-Hussayen, a terrorism suspect. He was arrested based on a warrant issued by a federal magistrate judge pursuant under 18 U.S.C § 3144 based on the link to the pending prosecution of the terrorism suspect. Al-Kidd later filed a Bivens action against John Ashcroft, the then-Attorney General.

Prior Proceedings:

The case was presented before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit but did not go to trial since the court rejected the Attorney General's bid for immunity. The Court of Appeals argued that the petitioner's bid did not apply since the government's intention for arresting the respondent has no connection to the prosecution of al-Hussayen.

Issues Presented or Questions of Law:

The case at the Supreme Court presented two major issues or questions of law based on the Fourth Amendment. First, the Supreme Court was to examine whether the Court of Appeals was wrong in denying Ashcroft qualified immunity from the pretext claim on the basis that the Fourth Amendment forbids an officer from using a valid material witness warrant pending further investigation. Secondly, the issue was to be examined on the basis that this Fourth Amendment rule was clearly established during Al-Kidd's arrest.

Arguments or Objectives of the Parties:

Al-Kidd argued that the Attorney General created and authorized a program that supposedly abused the material witness statute in order to detain suspected terrorists. Moreover, he stated that the United States government categorized him as a material witness since it lacked enough evidence to detain him as a witness. In contrast, the petitioner's argument was whether the Fourth Amendment rule prevented him from carrying search actions.

Holding/Rule of Law:

The United States Supreme Court reversed and remanded the ruling of the lower court since the effective application of the law requires examining whether the arrest is objective instead of the intention of the arresting officer.


The Supreme Court's decision was based on the fact that there was no…

Sources Used in Documents:


"Ashcroft v. Kidd CB3." (2013, March 4). Westlaw -- Saint Leo University. Thomson Reuters.

"Dinler v. City of New York CB4." (2013, March 5). Westlaw -- Saint Leo University. Thomson Reuters.

"PMOI v. U.S. Department of State CB2." (2012). Westlaw -- Saint Leo University. Thomson Reuters.

"United States v. Yousef CB1." (2012). Westlaw -- Saint Leo University. Thomson Reuters.

Cite this Document:

"Terrorism-Related Case Briefs" (2014, July 13) Retrieved August 19, 2022, from

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"Terrorism-Related Case Briefs", 13 July 2014, Accessed.19 August. 2022,

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