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Posts tagged: Abdullah al-Kidd

Judge says al-Kidd entitled to jury trial on fed false imprisonment claim

Former UI football player Abdullah al-Kidd is entitled to a jury trial on his claim that the federal government misused a material witness law to arrest and imprison him for weeks in 2003 as a potential witness in a terrorism trial, a federal judge has ruled; al-Kidd never was called to testify in fellow UI student Sami Al-Hussayen's trial. AP reporter Rebecca Boone reports that U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge's ruling is a win for al-Kidd; click below for her full report.

Federal magistrate: U.S. falsely imprisoned al-Kidd under material witness law post 9/11

The federal government falsely imprisoned former University of Idaho football player in 2003 as a material witness, a federal magistrate judge has ruled, finding that a jury should decide if the government has misused the material witness law in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the AP reports. Abdullah al-Kidd was imprisoned for 16 days, repeatedly strip searched and at times left naked in a jail cell, after federal agents said he had a first-class, one-way ticket to Saudi Arabia. It was actually a round-trip coach ticket with an open return; he was going there to study. Al-Kidd was never actually called to testify in the trial against fellow University of Idaho student Sami Omar al-Hussayen, who was acquitted on terrorism charges.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mikel Williams ruled that the court essentially was duped into issuing the arrest warrant; click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

FBI agents ask judge to throw out claims against them from al-Kidd case

A federal judge is questioning the urgency that FBI agents felt when they arrested and detained an American Muslim under a law designed to ensure that witnesses show up to testify in court, reports AP reporter Rebecca Boone; U.S. Magistrate Judge Mikel Williams questioned Department of Justice attorney Marcus Meeks during a hearing today in a lawsuit brought by Abdullah al-Kidd against the federal government.

Al-Kidd, a U.S. citizen and former University of Idaho football star, sued former Attorney General John Ashcroft and other federal officials in 2005, after he was arrested and jailed as a material witness in a terrorism-related criminal case against Sami al-Hussayen, another UI student. Al-Kidd contends his arrest was just a ruse to give the government time to investigate him for any potential wrongdoing. The federal government maintains its actions were constitutional.

The U.S. Supreme Court has already thrown out al-Kidd's claims against Ashcroft and a few other defendants, and al-Kidd has prevailed in a claim against one prison and settled his claims against two other lockups. Now FBI agents Michael Gneckow and Scott Mace and the Department of Justice are asking the judge to throw out al-Kidd's claims against them. Click below for Boone's full report.

U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of Ashcroft, against Abdullah al-Kidd

The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned a federal appeals court, saying former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft didn't violate the constitutional rights of a former University of Idaho football player who was arrested in 2003 and held as a possible witness in a terrorism case - though he never was called to testify and never was charged with a crime - and can't be personally sued over the case. The high court ruled 5-3 in favor of Ashcroft and against Abdullah al-Kidd, who was held in connection with the trial of former U of I student Sami al-Hussayen. Click below for a full report from the Associated Press in Washington, D.C.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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