United States v. Abu Marzook

412 F. Supp. 2d 913 (2006)

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United States v. Abu Marzook

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
412 F. Supp. 2d 913 (2006)

Facts

Muhammad Hamid Khalil Salah and other parties (defendants) were indicted for crimes relating to the provision of material support to Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization responsible for numerous terrorist attacks directed at Israel and its people. The government’s case was based in part on statements Salah had made to agents of Israel’s intelligence agency, the Israel Security Agency (ISA). Before trial, Salah moved to suppress his statements, arguing that he had been coerced. The government moved to close portions of the suppression hearing to the public and for certain security measures to be taken. To establish the admissibility of Salah’s statements, the government planned to present six or seven witnesses, two of which would be ISA agents. The nature and details of the ISA agents’ testimony was designated as classified by Israel. The true identities of the agents were concealed from everyone with whom the agents had contact and not even known to the United States. It was uncontested that the secret ISA agents engaged in sensitive, dangerous work and that terrorist elements were actively endeavoring to discover their true identities. The ISA agents would testify about their work and work activities, including their interrogation techniques and counterintelligence measures. Based on executive order, the United States designated any secret information shared by a foreign government as classified, and this included the ISA agents’ identities and testimony. Salah and several media organizations objected to a closed courtroom.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (St. Eve, J.)

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