Man in Terror Case Seeks Warrantless NSA Evidence

An Oregon man convicted in 2013 of attempted terrorism has asked to see the evidence against him collected through National Security Agency monitoring.

Attorneys for 22-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud Monday filed a motion in the U.S. District Court in Portland, Ore., seeking discovery of information they think will help in an eventual challenge to the constitutionality of the law that authorized the warrantless surveillance by the NSA, the Washington Post reported.

At a minimum, the lawyers said their client deserves a new trial because he wasn't told that the government used the warrantless program to bring about its case.

Mohamud was found guilty of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction after he was caught in an FBI sting trying to set off what in reality was a fake bomb during a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in 2010.

The warrantless program "raises a wide range of serious issues regarding suppression of unlawfully or unconstitutionally obtained evidence, dismissal or other sanctions based on the government's intentional violation of governing rules, and, at least, a new trial based on new evidence of governmental overreaching," Stephen R. Sady, one of the three lawyers defending Mohamud, said in the motion.

The Justice Department declined to comment Monday, the Post said.

Mohamud was told last year the FBI used evidence obtained through the NSA's use of intercepts under the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 that allows warrantless eavesdropping on international phone calls and e-mails so long as the spying targets foreigners overseas.

In their motion, Mohamud's attorneys argued that the information withheld may show the government overstepped its bounds and the surveillance -- even if ruled constitutional -- violated the FISA statute's requirements, they said.

The Post said defense lawyers also want prosecutors to reveal any evidence that might have come from other NSA surveillance programs.

"The government likely has records of every one of Mohamed's calls and Internet communications," they wrote.

Related Topics

NSA Espionage Terrorism
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