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... supports Professor William Snyder's sections of National Security Law, Counterterrorism Law, and Prosecuting Terrorists at the Syracuse University College of Law.

Al Alwi Argument Preview

Larkin Reynolds reports  on Lawfare blog today, November 2, 2010, in a post entitled "Al Alwi Argument Preview," that this Thursday, November 4, D.C. Circuit Judges will hear oral arguments in Al Alwi v. Obama

The case is an appeal from a decision by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon denying Moath Hamza Al Alwi’s habeas corpus petition. Al Alwi was one of the first merits decisions to follow the Supreme Court’s decision in Boumediene. 

Lawfare reports:

"In Judge Leon’s unclassified opinion, he wrote that the government’s evidence proved that the petitioner was “lawfully detained as an enemy combatant because it is more probable than not that he was ‘part of or supporting Taliban or al Qaeda forces’ both prior to and after the initiation of U.S. hostilities in October 2001.” In the more detailed opinion (formerly classified, now released with redactions), however, Judge Leon described his conclusions more fully. First, he found that the petitioner had stayed at guesthouses that had “strong connections” to Al Qaeda and that the petitioner, “at a minimum, was ‘supporting’ the Taliban” on two combat fronts. He also wrote that Al Alwi’s involvement with the Omar Sayef Group, a fighting force the petitioner admitted was associated with the Taliban, amounted to “participating” in the unit and that he was “subject to the orders of the unit’s leaders.” Finally, Judge Leon found that Al Alwi had received military training at a camp associated with the Taliban, and that he was “with and was supporting Taliban forces” after September 11th."

On appeal, Al Alwi challenges three defects. First, Al Alwi claims that Judge Leon’s scheduling and discovery orders denied him a “meaningful opportunity” to challenge his detention. Second, he challenges the scope of the government’s authority to detain individuals who were “part of” or “supporting” Al Qaeda or the Taliban. Lastly, Al Alwi challenges the district court’s handling of evidence.

Available here are the petitioner’s merits brief, the government’s brief, and the petitioner’s reply brief

For the full text of the Lawfare blog post, click here

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