The American legal profession and judicial system bear a unique responsibility to set and maintain the balance between defending homeland security and protecting the civil liberties outlined in the Bill of Rights. These competing interests will continue to collide as the threats to our safety grow. Exploring the most significant terrorist cases of the past two decades, Counter Terrorism Issues: Case Studies in the Courtroom presents a panoramic view of the American judiciary’s handling of domestic terrorism in the last 20 years.
Drawing extensively upon trial transcripts, witness statements, and judicial opinions, the book brings the underlying events back to life and demonstrates how the criminal justice system has sought to grapple with conflicting facts and countervailing legal rights and responsibilities.
The book examines some of the most notorious recent cases—the two attacks on the World Trade Center, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Fort Hood massacre. It also looks at lesser-known but equally important incidents, including those involving animal-rights radicals who harass university researchers and corporate executives, as well as the actions of terrorist "wannabes" who threaten our security. Also discussed are attempts by victims of terrorist attacks to sue state sponsors of terrorism.
Through the words of witnesses, judges, and the attorneys who tried these cases in America’s courtrooms, the book provides important commentary on the related back-stories and historical/political contexts of these events, enabling readers to understand the significance of these often-infamous attacks on U.S. soil.
Introduction. The Fire Bell in the Night: The 1993 World Trade Center Bombing. Homegrown Terrorists: Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols (1995). Should Zacarias Moussaoui Die for Usama Bin Laden’s Sins? (2006). It Shouldn’t Happen to a Dog? The Trial of the SHAC 7 (2006). All My Trials Soon Be Over? Sami Al-Arian (2005-2010). Victims Fight Back: The Persian Antiquities Cases (2001-2012). At the Tipping Point on the Scales of Justice: National Security v. Civil Liberties (When a U.S. Citizen Is Declared an Unlawful Enemy Combatant). Of Wanna-be’s and Bumblers: the Fort Dix Conspirators and the Underwear Bomber. Lone Madman or Freelance Jihadist? Nidal Malik and the Fort Hood Shootings (2009). The Yemeni Connection (Redux): What the Times Square Bomber Case Portends. Conclusion. Index.