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Federal court rules against part of terrorism finance law

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Oregon has ruled that the US Treasury Department's freezing of the assets of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation [JURIST news archive] violated the organization's due processes rights because it failed to provide any basis for designating it a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" (SDGT) organization. The seizure of the organization's assets was authorized by Executive Order 13224 [DOS backgrounder], which allows the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to block the assets of individuals or entities designated to be SDGTs. Judge Garr King said Thursday that the definition of providing "material support" to terrorism as a criterion for designation was unconstitutionally vague. He did not overturn the designation, however, as it has yet to be decided whether the due process violation was harmless error. From Oregon, the Mail Tribune has more.

The now-defunct Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation is also involved in ongoing litigation [JURIST report] involving whether it was the subject of an illegal wiretap by the National Security Agency (NSA). The foundation alleges that the NSA illegally taped several conversations between the charity and its lawyers.

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