Prosecuting Terrorists

Law 779, Fall Term 2012

Syracuse University College of Law

Syllabus as of December 9, 2012 16:58 hrs.

The syllabus updates on a nearly daily basis. Note that most documents linked here are available only to students and guests with a username and password. Any person can view the course blog.

Jump to assignment for lesson 26 on 12/10/12, here.

I. Principles

Lesson 1

Principles of Counter-Terrorism Prosecutions

  • Methods of counterterrorism
  • Using law enforcement for prevention v. past crimes
  • Disruption through use of immigration, money laundering, and conspiracy law.

For class on 8/27/12, please read the handout that will be emailed to all registered course members, posted here, and available in Professor Snyder’s office.


  • PowerPoint slides used in class.
  • Audio file of class.

Lesson 2

Modes of Terrorism and Timeline of International Response
For Lesson 2 on 8/29/12, please read handout.


  • complete Carnegie Paper COMPETING DEFINITIONS OF THE RULE OF LAW: Implications for Practitioners.

II. Legitimacy

Lesson 3, 4

Legal Authority and Creation of the Courts Systems

For Lesson 3 on 9/5/12, please read this handout.

For Lesson 4 on 9/10/12, please reveiw the same assignment.

III.  The Law

Lessons 5, 6

Definitions of Terrorism
Selected U.S. Code Criminal Statutes

For Lesson 5 on 9/12/12, please read pages 1-29 of joint handout for lessons 5 & 6.

For Lesson 6 on 9/17/12, please read remainder of same handout.

Lesson 7

Criminal Offenses under the Military Commissions Act, the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

For Lesson 7 on 9/19/12, please read handout.

Lesson 8

Criminal Offenses in International Tribunals
Special Importance of the Law of Conspiracy

For Lesson 8 on 9/24, please read:

  • Handout on substantive law in international tribunals.
  • Handout on conspiracy in international tribunals.


Supplemental Resources:

  • Conspiracy primer (If you do not already know the elements of conspiracy and what Pinkerton liability is, then skim the highlighted portions of this document. No reason to read all 50 pages unless you want to.)

Lesson 9 on 9/26/12

Criminal Offenses in a Possible Special National Security Court

Assignment: Please read in Sulmasey the Introduction and pages 157-193.

IV.  Investigations

Classes 10 & 11 on 10/1, 3/12

Overview of Intelligence Community
Overview of Federal Law Enforcement Agencies
International Investigations

Assignment: For class on Monday, 10/1/12, please review materials from last five classes on substantive offenses, then please skim this document.

Assignment: For class on Wednesday, 10/3/12, please review handouts provided in class on 10/3 and read Protective Order.

Classes 12, 13

Tearing Down The Wall

  • In re Sealed Case
  • USA PATRIOT Act provisions on information sharing

Assignment: For class on Monday, 10/8/12, please review the materials from last class (which will occupy about half of our time), then read at least the first half of in re Sealed Case.

Assignment: For class on Wednesday, 10/10/12, please read in re Sealed Case in detail.

Classes 14, 15

Fourth Amendment Framework
U.S. Agents Acting Abroad

Assignment: For Lesson 14 on Wednesday, 10/17/12, please read HANDOUT. (Class did not meet on 10/15/12 as originally scheduled.)

Assignment: For Lesson 15 on Monday, 10/22/12, keep the same assignment. That is, please read HANDOUT.

Classes 16,17

Electronic Surveillance

Assignment: For Wednesday, 10/24/12, please read in the handout on Title III Wiretaps pages 1, 2, 18, 19 and 35-41, plus in the FISA handout pages 1-4.

Assignment: For Monday, 10/29/12, please read most carefully sections 1801, 1804, 1805 and 1806 of FISA.

Supplemental readings, here. [Requires digital library credentials.]

Lesson 18 on 11/5

Guest speaker: Professor Chris Kimball of the United States Naval Academy.


Lesson 19 on 11/7

Interviews & Interrogation
Use of Grand Jury
Material Witnesses

  • 18 U.S.C. § 3144

Assignment: For Lesson 19 on 11/7/12, please read:

V. Jurisdiction

Lesson 20 on 11/14/12

Substantive Jurisdiction
Physical Jurisdiction
Obtaining the Defendant
Pretrial Detention 

Assignment: For Lesson 20 on 11/14/12, please:


VI.  Adjudication

Lessons 21

Disclosure & Discovery
Protecting Classified or Confidential Information

Assignment: For Lesson 21 on 11/26/12, please:

  • read handout on Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA)


Supplemental materials:

  • Handout on how the MCA, ICC, and Special Court for Sierra Leone handle classified evidence.

Lesson 22


Assignment: For Lesson 22 on 11/28/12, please:

Lesson 23

Comparison of Juries and Finders of Fact

Assignment: For Lesson 23 on 12/03/12, please:

Lesson 24

Comparison of Rules of Evidence
Physical Security
Witness Protection

Sentencing Options

Assignment: Please read handout.

Supplemental, not assigned:

Lesson 25
Online anytime

Cyber-Lecture on Litigating in International Tribunals

Assignment: Download this file, listen to it, then send any questions you may have to Professor Snyder and/or post questions, comments, or questions to the discussion board.

VII.  Case Studies

Lesson 26

Case Study: United States v. Moussaoui
Assignment: Please review these Moussaoui pleadings:


 Lesson 28

Final thoughts and examination review.






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The Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT) -- a joint venture of Syracuse University's College of Law and of its Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs -- provides cutting-edge interdisciplinary research, graduate-level education, and public service on law and policy challenges related to national and international security.