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Fourth Circuit orders hearings on wiretap evidence in Islamic scholar conviction

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] has ordered [PDF text] US District Judge Leonie Brinkema to hold hearings on whether the National Security Agency [official website] used warrantless domestic wiretaps [JURIST news archive] to gather evidence against an Islamic scholar convicted of encouraging Muslims to join the Taliban. Ali al-Timimi [defense website] is serving a life sentence [JURIST report] following his conviction [JURIST report] last year on charges [JURIST report] of encouraging his followers to fight a holy war against the US and join the Taliban in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks. Al-Timimi's lawyers had asked the appeals court [Washington Post report] to order Brinkema to determine whether NSA warrantless wiretaps were used to monitor al-Timimi's or other key witnesses' conversations and the court granted this request Tuesday.

Following reports last year that the US had been monitoring domestic communications without warrants [JURIST report], defense lawyers in several high profile terrorism cases have made similar efforts [JURIST report] to determine whether the NSA's domestic surveillance program was used to obtain evidence against their clients. AP has more.

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