The World in U.S. Courts: Fall 2013 - Criminal Law
Defendant was alleged to have conspired with foreign and U.S. national co-conspirators to provide and conceal material support to terrorists. Among other arguments, the defendant moved to dismiss the indictment because there was an insufficient jurisdictional nexus between him and the United States and extraterritorial application would violate the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The defendant argued the “allegations central to this charge” took place outside of the United States and were aimed at different countries, such as the United Kingdom. However, the District Court held that there is no requirement that the defendant be present in the United States, or communicate with persons in the United States, or transact business in the United States. Instead, the jurisdictional nexus requires only that the conduct was calculated to harm American citizens or interests, which was satisfied here. Prosecution also did not violate the Due Process Clause, the Court held, because the defendant had fair notice of prosecution because it was “sufficiently clear that the conduct alleged [was] criminal” and was directed against U.S. citizens.