United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
528 F.3d 210 (2008)
Ahmed Omar Abu Ali (defendant) was an American citizen attending college in Saudi Arabia. While there, he began participating in meetings with al-Qaeda members and became involved with suggested plans to commit various terrorist acts in the United States and against U.S. officials. Abu Ali began training to return to the United States to conduct terrorist activities, but before the completion of his training, the Saudi counterterrorist agency arrested him. After interrogation, Saudi authorities gave Abu Ali over to the United States, where he was tried for providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Prior to trial, the government filed an in camera, ex parte motion pursuant to the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA), 18 U.S.C. app. III, §§ 1-16, seeking a protective order forbidding testimony and any questioning that could lead to the disclosure of certain classified information during the trial. The district court granted the government’s motion by an in camera, ex parte, sealed order and ruled that the government could use the “silent-witness rule” to disclose the classified information to the jury at trial. In lieu of the full version of the documents authorized for presentation to the jury, prior to trial, Abu Ali and his counsel, who did not have security clearance, received redacted, unclassified versions to aid in his defense. Abu Ali was convicted of numerous crimes connected with his al-Qaeda affiliation, and he was sentenced to 360 months in prison. Abu Ali appealed his convictions, arguing that the district court’s handling of the classified information under CIPA violated his Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause rights.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wilkinson, J.)
Dissent (Motz, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 221,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.