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Al Bahlul v. United States

767 F.3d 1 (2014) (en banc)

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Al Bahlul v. United States

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

767 F.3d 1 (2014) (en banc)

Facts

Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al Bahlul (defendant) was an assistant to Osama bin Laden. Bahlul produced a propaganda video celebrating a terrorist attack on the USS Cole and calling for jihad against the United States. Bahlul also helped plan the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Bahlul was tried by a military commission and convicted of conspiracy to commit war crimes and of providing material support for terrorism. The United States Court of Military Commission Review affirmed the conviction. Bahlul appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. During the pendency of Bahlul’s appeal, the court of appeals ruled that the 2006 Military Commissions Act (MCA) did not permit retroactive prosecution by a military commission unless the conduct at issue constituted a pre-existing war crime. Pursuant to this reasoning, a panel of the court vacated Bahlul’s convictions. The prosecution petitioned for rehearing en banc.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Henderson, J.)

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