After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Congress authorized the use of force against the terrorists. Rasul and others (defendants) were captured abroad during the ensuing military campaign. The defendants were held at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The base is in Cuban territory, but the lease gives the United States jurisdiction. The defendants’ relatives challenged the detentions claiming the defendants are innocent but have not been charged, allowed to talk to an attorney, or access courts. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia deemed the filings habeas corpus petitions and dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.