United States v. Rahman
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
189 F.3d 88 (2d Cir. 1999)
Ten defendants, including Abdel Rahman (defendant), were convicted of seditious conspiracy pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2384, in connection with terror plots related to the World Trade Center bombing and additional plans to bomb other locations and murder the Egyptian president. Section 2384 makes it a crime to conspire to overthrow or destroy the United States government by force. At trial, the government introduced evidence of Rahman’s religious speeches and teachings, in which he expressed his belief that waging jihad against enemies of Islam, including the United States and Egypt, was mandated by the Qur’an. Rahman’s speeches also included calls to specific followers to murder the Egyptian president and create plans to bomb various buildings. The defendants challenged their convictions based on arguments that the criminal statute violated the Treason Clause, Art. III, § 3, cl. 1, as well as the rights of free speech and free exercise of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment. The defendants also argued that the statute was void for being overbroad and vague.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per Curiam)
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