United States v. Koubriti

252 F. Supp. 2d 418 (2003)

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United States v. Koubriti

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
252 F. Supp. 2d 418 (2003)

Facts

Within a week of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, in which airplanes were hijacked and thousands of Americans were killed, a federal terrorism task force found Karim Koubriti and two other men (defendants) in a Detroit apartment. Koubriti and the two other men possessed fraudulent passports, visas, and other identification documents and a day planner that appeared to relate to one or more other airplane hijackings directed against Americans. For example, the day planner referenced an American base and airport in other countries and contained sketches of aircraft. The government eventually discovered a fourth associate (defendant) (together, the men), and the men were charged with providing material support to terrorists, among other charges, in the Eastern District of Michigan. The case attracted a great deal of media scrutiny, in part because it was the first terrorism-related case to go to trial after the September 11 attacks. The court received 47 requests from media outlets to attend the trial. The U.S. marshal responsible for court security recommended the empaneling of an anonymous jury based on the significant media attention and potential for juror harassment. Prospective jurors were asked to answer 103 detailed questions as part of a juror questionnaire. The court announced it intended to empanel an anonymous jury, to which the men objected.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rosen, J.)

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