For Immediate Release: March 20, 2013
New York City – Human Rights First today praised a decision to bring Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun, also known as “Spin Ghul,” to justice in U.S. federal courts, a venue the group notes has a track record of successfully handling terrorism cases. Spin Ghul is charged with conspiracy to murder American military personnel in Afghanistan, conspiracy to bomb American diplomatic facilities in Nigeria, conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda, providing material support to al Qaeda, and related firearms and explosives counts. He is expected to appear in federal court by the end of this week.
“This is just the latest in a long line of cases that show that federal courts can handle prosecuting terrorism suspects captured abroad,” said Human Rights First’s Raha Wala.
Federal courts have completed nearly 500 cases related to international terrorism since 9/11. Of those, 67 cases have involved individuals captured overseas, according to Department of Justice data obtained by Human Rights First in a Freedom of Information Act request.
Meanwhile military commissions have convicted only 7 individuals since 9/11. Two of those convictions were recently overturned due to legal objections over the charges brought in those cases.
“Civilian courts are the proper venue to handle this case. Military detention or trial at Guantanamo would present serious legal problems and undermine the rule of law,” Wala noted.
The news of Spin Ghul’s pending trial comes in the wake of a recent decision by the Obama administration to transfer Abu Ghaith, Osama Bin Laden’s son-in-law, to federal court in New York.
For more information about prosecuting terrorism cases, please see Human Rights First’s fact sheets Federal Courts Continue to Take Lead in Counterterrorism Prosecutions and Myth v. Fact: Trying Terrorism Suspects in Federal Court. For more information about Human Rights First’s plan for closing the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, please read the organization’s blueprint How to Close Guantanamo.
To speak with Wala, contact Corinne Duffy at DuffyC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.