US prosecutors charge 2 New York residents with providing material support to al Qaeda

US prosecutors charge 2 New York residents with providing material support to al Qaeda

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[JURIST] The US government on Friday charged [indictment, PDF] two Brooklyn men with conspiracy to provide material support [18 USC § 2339B materials] to al Qaeda [GlobalSecurity backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. The two men allegedly received at least $50,000 for providing al Qaeda with "computer advice and assistance, services, and currency," among other acts, between November 2007 and March 2010. The charges were filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website]. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] has been advocating using the criminal justice system as a counter-terrorism tool [DOJ backgrounder].

In March, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism Martin Scheinin [official website] urged [JURIST report] the Obama administration to hold civilian trials for accused 9/11 conspirators, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [JURIST news archives]. The week before that, lawmakers introduced [JURIST report] a bill [text, PDF] that would require the military interrogation and trial of those taken into US custody who are suspected of links to terrorism. While the Obama administration is keeping the option of military commissions [JURIST news archives] open, JURIST contributing editor Jordan Paust [academic profile] has discussed the option of courts-martial as another option [JURIST op-ed] for prosecuting members of al Qaeda and the Taliban.