Supreme Court to Hear Material Witness Case
By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: February 20, 2011
GRAND TERRACE, Calif. — When the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, gave Congress a progress report in early 2003on the agency’s success in “identifying and dismantling terrorist networks,” his first example was the capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks. His second was the arrest of Abdullah al-Kidd.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments on March 2 in Mr. Kidd’s lawsuit against John Ashcroft, who was President George W. Bush’s first attorney general. It is this term’s only major national security case, and it will give the court an opportunity to weigh in on an issue that has divided Western democracies: when may the government detain citizens it is unable to charge with a crime for fear they may engage in terrorism?
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