Fourth Circuit Remands Al-Timimi Case In Light Of New Evidence

US-CourtOfAppeals-4thCircuit-SealThis afternoon, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit remanded the appeal of Ali Al-Timimi, the accused head of the so-called “Virginia Jihad” or “Virginia Paintball” case. The remand was based on evidence that was discovered by the defense after the appeal was filed. I am lead defense counsel for Dr. Al-Timimi and serve with co-counsel Thomas Huff and Allison Wood. We have long argued that the government has withheld evidence in the case.

This case centers on allegations that Dr. Al-Timimi— a computational biologist employed in cancer research and a prominent Muslim scholar—made comments at a dinner shortly after 9-11 that allegedly inspired certain men in attendance to go forward with a plan to travel to a camp in Pakistan run by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), a group the United States would later designate as a terrorist organization. Under assorted theories of inchoate liability, Dr. Al-Timimi was charged with and convicted of 10 felonies. In a result that the district court described as “very draconian,” sentencing, he received a mandatory lifetime prison sentence.

I previously secured a remand of this case after media reports disclosed the existence of secret surveillance programs conducted by the Government. From April 25, 2006 until May 21, 2014, Dr. Al-Timimi filed roughly two dozen motions seeking discovery of undisclosed evidence. Virtually all of these motions were denied. To establish such a basis, the defense sought evidence through NARA and other sources using the Freedom of Information Act and other means. After years of such attempts, the defense was able to obtain documents referring to earlier investigations involving Dr. Al-Timimi and other figures, like Anwar Aulaqi.

Due to the ongoing litigation, I must remain circumspect about public comments on this case. Below are the filings leading to today’s remand.

On behalf of Dr. Al-Timimi and the entire defense team, we are deeply appreciative to the Fourth Circuit and look forward to presenting this matter to Judge Brinkema in the United States District Court for Northern Virginia.

Reply Memorandum

Motion for Remand

30 thoughts on “Fourth Circuit Remands Al-Timimi Case In Light Of New Evidence”

  1. Due to the fraudulent use of secrecy by national security agencies – to subvert constitutional due process – we should start criminally prosecuting the surviving federal agents that tormented and abused Martin Luther King, Jr, Fred Hampton and his supporters using CoinTelPro tactics. That is the only real deterrent and since “excessive secrecy” was used in a fraudulent manner decades ago, it should strip those Defendants of “Statute of Limitations” protections.

    The same game is being played today, national security officials fraudulently and knowingly classify something as secret (to subvert constitutional due process and obstruct justice) but know by the time it’s declassified the “statute of limitations” will protect them from criminal prosecution.

    Judges allowing a “statute of limitations” shield to protect corrupt officials actually creates an incentive for more fraudulent secrecy and law breaking in the future. Judges shoukd strip that shield made under false pretenses.

  2. Lazy prosecutors and lying agents is that really the level to which the government has sunk to get convictions. Anyone who thinks this kind of thing only happens in cases like this is wrong. It is happening everyday and it is a travesty.

    1. david – I am wondering if this guy is a terrorist. If, what the motion says is correct, he refused to join any terrorism group. The government is hiding evidence which is exculpatory. I am curious as to what Squad IT-3 is.

      1. Paul C. Schulte wrote: “I am wondering if this guy is a terrorist.”

        I guess it depends upon how you define terrorist. He certainly supports terrorism. I consider a terrorist recruiter to be a terrorist, and that is what he was. He does not recognize the authority of our government because he says it is secular. He persuaded people to join terrorist training camps overseas. He preached that now is the time for Jihad and advocated people taking up arms against the United States. It was the gun charge that got him in trouble. The main thing I don’t like about this case is the mandatory life sentence for the gun charge.

  3. Estoppel doctrine. The government, meaning the prosecutor who stands up before a court, should be estopped to deny that the government lied about with holding evidence. Eric Holder should be estopped but he is gone from office. The present Atty General and the prosecutor in court is estopped to deny that they lied. Since a spying type case or terrorist case is predicated on a bundle of evidence which must be tied together, one piece of lie incriminates the rest of the government’s evidence as a lie and a fraud on the court.

  4. I scanned the Motion. Am I correct that the only significance of the document is to show that the government agents lied about the timeline, and thus constitutes a sort of “character” evidence against them? Did I miss something?

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  5. The federal government uses the veil of national secrecy and security to hide its incompetence.

    Nothing good ever results from knee-jerk, fast-tracked, passion-inspired legislation such as the Patriot Act. Bush and Cheney hoodwinked the citizenry and the Congress over 9/11 and Obama’s further constricted the rope. The victim is the Bill of Rights.

  6. Well Nick, I find myself agreeing with you about the exculpatory evidence issue. So there’s that.

    But didn’t Justice Scalia write the 7-2 decision that the EPA is free to regulate CO2 as a greenhouse gas? It appears that President Obama has decided to cash that check. Nothing more.

  7. I’m waiting for a post from JT regarding the draconian EPA edict Obama just handed down from on high. Again, JT will be conflicted. He is a religious fundamental global warming pilgrim. But, he also loves the Constitution and knows this is another example of a renegade uber President.

  8. This situation shows why Snowden should NEVER return to the US unless he has been given immunity. Defending an espionage case is nearly impossible. However, the duopoly will never give Snowden immunity. He embarrassed the duopoly. You could steal, lie, ass rape the duopoly and be forgiven. But, showing their evil ways is the cardinal sin and there is no forgiveness.

  9. If a witness lied about doing investigations prior to a certain date, and lied to a jury, then all evidence introduced through that witness needs to be stricken. If any evidence which came from the liar was relevant to a judgment of guilt then the conviction must be overturned. Further, the government has now proven that it has lied, not just the witness. The prosecutors lied. They are not fit to be in a court of law again. They need to be disbarred. A prosecution based on false testimony should be barred from a second trial. The defendant needs to be freed and his name cleared. If he is evil then he needs to be watched.

    1. BarkinDog – the courts know what the government has been doing and has been letting them get away with it. Now a couple of judges are laying down the law. We could see some people doing jail time for contempt.

  10. This may end up with a ‘greymail’ dismissal. Rather than open the big can of worms that is out there, they will dismiss the case.

  11. Secret evidence that is not disclosed to the defense by the prosecution, regardless of the law, should be completely dismissed if it favors the prosecution and the prosecution should be charged with civil rights violations if the evidence is exculpatory. It’s difficult to defend against charges or evidence you are not only not permitted to see but not even permitted to know exists. If the evidence is so related to national security that you cannot allow the defense to see it, then you simply do not bring charges based on that evidence, period. Star chambers were supposed to have been disbanded with the Constitution. We’re seeing this with the “StingRay” device as well- when the defense is allowed to know it exists, charges are often dropped rather than allow discussion of the device.

  12. And Isaac, free speech is a tangential issue on this matter. The duty for a prosecutor to disclose exculpatory evidence is the issue.

  13. Isaac, Your ignorance of Constitutional due process is well documented. And, my strength on prosecutors solemn duty to disclose ALL exculpatory evidence is on the record here and elsewhere COUNTLESS times. The prosecutor for whom I worked would not tolerate one of her people withholding exculpatory evidence. It was a firing offense. She taught me it mattered not what type of case it was, drug, burglary, rape, homicide, etc. You completely disclose exculpatory evidence promptly and totally. So, this is quite easy for me. As it should be for anyone who understands our judicial system. That leaves you out, hoser. I’m happy for JT and his team.

  14. I am not a resident. But I do not like Islamists. I am not a phobe. I would like to sort through the evidence and the charges against this Islamatob.

  15. Ha, I’m waiting with bated breath to hear what the resident Islamaphobes of this blog’s comment sections have to say about this one.

  16. My, my, how the US government plays fast and loose with due process and constitutional rights.

    And how can a terrorist government (US) declare another government a “terrorist government”? Stupidity, ignorance, and arrogance shows no bounds with this government.

  17. Nick

    So if Obama helps this guy out then he’s a Muslim traitor, etc….. And if he doesn’t then he’s against free speech etc…… Which is it? I’ll bet the answer is both.

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