nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Khan (N.D. Ill. Feb. 6, 2012) (guilty plea in AQ material support case)

February 6, 2012

From DOJ’s press release:

CHICAGO — A Chicago man, who personally provided hundreds of dollars to an alleged terrorist leader with whom he had met in his native Pakistan, pleaded guilty today to attempting to provide additional funds to the same individual after learning he was working with al Qaeda. The defendant, Raja Lahrasib Khan, a Chicago taxi driver and native of Pakistan who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1988, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, resolving charges that have been pending since he was arrested in March 2010.

Khan, 58, of Chicago’s north side, never posed any imminent domestic danger, law enforcement officials said at the time of his arrest. He remains in federal custody while awaiting sentencing, which U.S. District Judge James Zagel scheduled for 2 p.m. on May 30, 2011.

Khan faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. His plea agreement calls for an agreed sentence of between five and eight years in prison, and it requires Khan to cooperate with the government in any matter in which he is called upon to assist through the termination of his sentence and any period of supervised release.

Khan, who was born and resided in the Azad Kashmir region of Pakistan before immigrating to the United States in the late 1970s, admitted that he met with Ilyas Kashmiri, a leader of the Kashmir independence movement, in Pakistan in the early to mid-2000s and again in 2008. At the time of the second meeting, Khan knew or had reason to believe that Kashmiri was working with al Qaeda, in addition to leading attacks against the Indian government in the Kashmir region. During their 2008 meeting, Kashmiri told Khan that Osama bin Laden was alive, healthy and giving orders, and Khan gave Kashmiri approximately 20,000 Pakistani rupees (approximately $200 to $250), which he intended Kashmiri to use to support attacks against India.

On Nov. 23, 2009, Khan sent approximately 77,917 rupees (approximately $930) from Chicago to an individual in Pakistan, via Western Union, and then directed the individual by phone to give Kashmiri approximately 25,000 rupees (approximately $300). Although Khan intended the funds to be used by Kashmiri to support attacks against India, he was also aware that Kashmiri was working with al Qaeda.

In February and March 2010, Khan participated in several meetings with an undercover law enforcement agent who posed as someone interested in sending money to Kashmiri to purchase weapons and ammunition, but only if Kashmiri was working with al Qaeda, as well as sending individuals into Pakistan to receive military-style training so they could conduct attacks against U.S. forces and interests. On March 17, 2010, the undercover agent provided Khan with $1,000, which Khan agreed to provide to Kashmiri. Khan then gave the funds to his son, who was traveling from the United States to the United Kingdom (U.K.), intending to later retrieve the money from his son in the U.K. and subsequently provide it to Kashmiri in Pakistan.

On March 23, 2010, Khan’s son arrived at an airport in the U.K. and a search by U.K. law enforcement officials yielded seven of the ten $100 bills that the undercover agent had provided to Khan. After learning of his son’s detention, Khan attempted to end his involvement in the scheme to provide funds to Kashmiri by requesting an urgent meeting with another individual who was also present at Khan’s earlier meetings with the undercover agent. During their meeting, Khan demanded to return the undercover agent’s funds by providing $800 to this other individual.

The investigation was conducted by the Chicago FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, with particular assistance from the Chicago Police Department, the Illinois State Police and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


nationalsecuritylaw forthcoming scholarship

February 6, 2012

A new batch of forthcoming scholarship (titles link to pdfs on ssrn):

"Beyond the Grave Breaches Regime: The Duty to Investigate Alleged Violations of International Law Governing Armed Conflicts"
Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, Forthcoming

AMICHAI COHEN, Ono Academic College – Faculty of Law, Israel Democracy Institute
Email: acohen
YUVAL SHANY, Hebrew University of Jerusalem – Faculty of Law and Institute of Criminology, Israel Democracy Institute
Email: yshany

The purpose of the present article is to critically evaluate the contemporary international law obligation to investigate military conduct in times of conflict and to identify relevant normative trends. In a nutshell, we argue that the traditional focus on the Geneva grave breaches regime in the context of military investigations is misplaced. The duty to investigate is far broader – encompassing the alleged violation of many other norms of IHL and IHRL.

"U.S. National Security, Intelligence and Democracy: From the Church Committee to the War on Terror"
Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper No. 2011-27

RUSSELL MILLER, Washington and Lee University – School of Law
Email: millerra

The most sensational and unique contribution of Germany’s national security constitution has made to the common constitutional struggle to balance security and liberty is the theory of “militant democracy.” Andras Sajo, the best-known contemporary theorist of militant democracy, has written to advocate the implementation of militant democracy in the present struggle against terrorism. “The counter-terror state, following the logic of militant democracy intends to protect certain fundamental rights and values by denying those rights to some people who are believed to abuse the system.” Sajo’s representation of how a comparist would analyze the claims that America can borrow and transplant Germany’s militant democracy as a weapon in the struggle against global terrorism is a traditional, functionalist response.

How should a comparist analyze the claims that America might borrow and transplant Germany’s militant militant democracy as a weapon in the struggle against terrorism? The functionalism tradition “considers legal problems and their solutions in isolation” and “treats comparative law as a technique of problem solving.” The result of this problem-solving emphasis was that comparative law presented issues “generically,” “detached” from specifics, and abstracted from their relevant contexts in an effort to construct ideal law. Functionalism may not address the relevance of values to constitutional protection of democracy or the extent to which “militant democracy” raises critical tradeoffs best understood in light of the unique features of a particular legal or political culture.

The contextual method endeavors to situate various constitutional problems in their animating political circumstances. This contextualization of problems and norms greatly complicates, if it does not confound, attempts at borrowing a legal regime, like Germany’s militant democracy for use in another setting, like America’s struggle with terrorism.

The discursive comparative method focuses on the social milieu in which sociological, historical, economical, and political norms are found. In the case of Germany – economic recovery, then stability, was fundamental to peace, stability, and security because of the widespread devastation confronting the Germans after the war. The contextual comparative effort revealed the fact that economic development played a critical role in pursuing postwar Germany against the enemies of democracy.

"Private Religious Discrimination, National Security, and the First Amendment"
Harvard Law and Policy Review, Vol. 5, p. 347, 2011
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 373

AZIZ Z. HUQ, University of Chicago Law School
Email: huq

This essay identifies a negative feedback loop between private discrimination directed at American Muslims and security against terrorism. The first part of the loop is familiar: Concerns about terrorism animate greater antipathy toward outsiders. The second part is novel: social discrimination corrodes trust in the police and makes cooperation with police less likely. Insecurity thus creates discrimination, which deepens insecurity. The Religion Clauses of the First Amendment, now greatly weakened, still provide one tool to break this negative feedback loop.

Intervention in Libya, Yes; Intervention in Syria, No: Deciphering the Obama Administration

Amos N. Guiora

University of Utah – S.J. Quinney College of Law

Deciphering an American presidential administration is truly yeoman’s work. Whether the Obama Administration is significantly distinct from previous administrations is too early to judge. Arguably, the task should be left to historians. Nevertheless, even a casual perusal of President Obama’s Middle East policy (perhaps best described as "policy") reflects a combination of naiveté, inconsistency and murkiness. While perhaps by design, the impact — on the ground — is deeply troublesome. While domestic political considerations are a reality, the implications of the Administration’s policy in an area of the world as treacherous as the Middle East are, potentially, staggering.

Precisely because international law does not articulate either normative or architectural standards as to when international humanitarian intervention is justified, national leaders arguably have a responsibility to act. The oft-cited phrase "when the cannons roar, the muses are silent" is particularly relevant to this discussion. For a variety of reasons, the international community has determined — whether actively or passively — that the massacre of the Syrian population by the Assad government does not justify international humanitarian intervention. While the human rights violations occurring on a daily basis do not compare to the horrors of Rwanda, Kosovo, or Sierra Leone they are not less compelling than the events transpiring in Libya. If, by metaphorical analogy, the international community is the cannons and the U.S. is the muse, does that mean that the Obama Administration is required to be silent? After all, if the quote were to be rigorously applied, then many of the institutions created to minimize human suffering would neither exist, much less function in wartime. While the distinction — from the perspective of international humanitarian intervention — between Libya and Syria is as unclear, as are the criteria that justify intervention, that must not serve as a misguided basis for the Obama Administration to largely turn its back on the Syrian people.