Evan Kohlmann Legal Testimony

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Evan Kohlmann has appeared frequently as an expert for the prosecution in cases against Muslims in the United States and Britain. The first of these were several associated with the so called "Virginia Paintball Jihad". Recently he has also assisted the prosecution in the US Military Commissions – condemned by human rights groups. He bills $275 an hour for his services and reportedly signed more than $135,000 in Justice Department contracts in 2007.[1] Many of these cases are based on charges of conspiracy or supporting a terrorist organisation, where the individual’s guilt is established by association. Several of the American cases involve the use of undercover agents to incite the defendants. In some cases there is no evidence of links to terrorism at all and the defendants have been charged purely in relation to materials in their position such as literature on weapons or explosives or merely videos and written material downloaded from the internet. In testimony Kohlmann has sought where ever possible to identify individuals and groups with Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden, and has gained a reputation for scare tactics. He has even put together films depicting terrorism for this purpose.

USA v. Masoud Khan et al (Eastern District of Virginia, 2004)

This case concerned 11 men who were arrested and charged with firearms and conspiracy offences in 2003. The so called ‘Virginia 11’ were Randall Todd Royer, Ibrahim Ahmed Al-Hamdi, Masoud Ahmad Khan, Yong Ki Kwon, Mohammed Aatique, Seiffullah Chapman, Hammad Abdur-Raheem, Donald Thomas Surratt, Caliph Basha Ibn Abdur-Raheem, Khwaja Mahmood Hasan and Sabri Benkhala.

They were charged with planning to join the South Asian militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba to fight in India controlled Kashmir. Six of the 11 defendants pleaded guilty to lesser charges and the remaing five defendants pleaded not guilty. Of those five, Masoud Khan, Seifullah Chapman and Hammad Abdur-Raheem were convicted. Caliph Basha was acquitted whilst Sabri Benkhala, was tried separately. Kohlmann appeared for the prosecution in the case, and it appears to be the first case he was involved in. On his biography on Counterterrorism Blog, Kohlmann describes himself as having appeared as an expert witness in the case[2] although there is some confusion over whether he was in fact an expert witness. Documents filed in United States v. Ali Timimi suggest that he was only a fact witness with respect to the contents of several websites that he accessed and copied, as well as a reverse who-is search of emails[3] whilst comments by the trial Judge suggest she did designate Kohlmann as an expert.[4]

USA v. Sabri Benkhala (Eastern District of Virginia, 2004)

Sabri Benkhala, one of the defendants named in the United States v. Masoud Khan et al indictment, was tried separately at a one day trial before being acquitted. Kohlmann was permitted as an expert on modem Afghan politics and testified as to the background of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda.[5] Whether or not it was due to Kohlmann’s testimony or her experience in United States v. Masoud Khan et al (over which she also resided) is not clear, but comments by the Judge in the case suggest that she had developed a prejudiced view of Muslims. The Washington Post reports her as telling Sabri Benkahla’s supporters: “This business about violent jihad and it being part of what good Muslims view as part of their religion, I have to say it troubles this court greatly.”[6] Benkhala was tried for a second time in 2007 and Kohlmann again testified. That time he was convicted.

USA v. Ali Timimi (Eastern District of Virginia, 2005)

The case against Ali Al-Timimi followed on from the ‘Virginia 11’ case. Timimi, an Iraqi-American cancer researcher, lectured at a mosque in Northern Virginia and circulated religious writings on the internet. He was alleged to be the leader of the supposed Jihad Cell.[7] The charges against Timimi related to commits he was alleged to have made over dinner on 16 September 2001. Timimi, it was said, told some of the men charged in United States v. Masoud Khan et al that it was their religious duty to fight for Islam overseas and to defend the Taliban. Timimi was not afforded a freedom of speech defence because the legal case according to the Judge was based on his intent to incite others to violence.[8]

According to the defence in that case, Kohlmann’s testimony crucially linked Al-Qaeda with Lashkar-e-Taiba (whose training camps some of the defendants in United States v. Masoud Khan et al had admitted attending). Timimi’s defence attorney Edward MacMahon Jr explains the significance of this connection:

“If a jury in the US finds any connection between your client and Osama bin Laden, you’re going to get convicted. So Kohlmann provides key testimony in the case that the US bombed an Al Qaeda terror camp in Afghanistan in 1998 and there was a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba in the training camp. That was the connection, and when Timimi was telling the [other defendants] to go to Pakistan, what he was really telling them was to go to Al Qaeda. What Kohlmann really did for the prosecutors was to tie it all up in a big bow.”[9]

International Prosecutors v. Abduladhim Maktouf (Supreme Court of Bosnia Herzegovina, 2005)

Abduladhim Maktouf was accused and found guilty as an accessory in the taking of three Croat civilians as hostages by the El Mujaheed unit in Travnik in 1993. He was charged with war crimes against civilians under article 173 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia Herzegovina.[10] Kohlmann has stated that he testified in his trial, although there are no English language sources with details of the nature of his testimony.

USA v. Uzair Paracha (Southern District of New York, 2005)

Uzair Paracha is a Pakistani national who was charged with identity fraud and providing and conspiring to provide material support to Al-Qaeda.[11] The charges related to his alleged visa assistance to Guantanamo Bay detainee Majid Khan. Khan is accused by the US Government of planning to blow up petrol stations in the US, although no evidence has been produced. Khan has made a statement that Paracha did not knowingly aid al-Qaeda, but he was not permitted to appear as a witness in the case.[12] Uzair’s father Saifullah Paracha was kidnapped by the US government and is also being held at Guantanamo Bay.[13] Kohlmann testified at Paracha’s trial as to the ‘origins and organizational structure of Al-Qaeda’, the ‘identification of its leaders’ and ‘its use of cells and the use of individuals to provide logistical support’.[14]

USA v. Ali Asad Chandia (Eastern District of Virginia, 2006)

Ali Asad Chandia was the 11th man convicted in connection with the supposed Virginia Jihad group. His house was searched in May 2003 as part of the raids that led to the United States v. Masoud Khan et al case; although he was not charged at that point. His trial focused on favours he did for a British acquaintance Mohammed Ajmal Khan, a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba (Mohammed Ajmal Khan was later convicted in England[15]). Chandia had picked up Mohammed Ajmal Khan from the airport in Washington and let him use his computer. He also helped him ship packages to Pakistan, including paintballs which were allegedly for military training.[16] Because of the assistance he gave Mohammed Ajmal Khan, Chandia was found guilty of conspiracy to provide, and actual provision of, material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba. The prosecution also alleged that Chandia had attended a Lashkar-e-Taiba training camp, but he was acquitted of that charge.[17] Chandia was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on 6 June 2006.[18] His appeal was rejected by the US Court of Appeal on 23 January 2008.[19]

At trial the prosecution put forward Kohlmann as an expert witness to testify on:

  • The origins, leadership, and operational structure of Lashkar-e-Taiba, including Lashkar-e-Taiba’s ties to al-Qaeda;
  • The nature of Lashkar-e-Taiba’s military operations against the government of India within both India and Indian-controlled Kashmir, including the types of military equipment used – and sought for acquisition – in support of those operations.
  • The significance of physical evidence, including forensic computer evidence and audio and videotapes, found in the defendant’s possession; and
  • The significance of other evidence concerning co-defendant and coconspirator Ajmal Khan’s actions to procure military-purpose equipment for Lashkar-e-Taiba.

According to trial notes taken by a supporter of Chandia, Kohlmann mentioned Al-Qaeda repeatedly during his testimony. When defence attorney Marvin Miller directed Kohlmann to a book by terrorism expert Jessica Stern called Terrorist in the Name of God, in which Stern referred to disaffection between Lashkar-e-Taiba and Osama bin Laden, Kohlmann contradicted that claim. He insisted instead that the Lashkar-e-Taiba literature claimed differently.[20] Stern has in fact been quoted as saying that experts like Kohlmann “are reading what the terrorists say about themselves, and there’s lots of disinformation there”[21].

USA v. Yassin Muhiddin Aref and Mohammed Mosharref Hossain (Northern District of New York, 2006)

Yassin Muhiddin Aref and Mohammed Mosharref Hossain were arrested as part of an FBI sting operation.[22] An undercover informant, Shahed Hussain, who used the name Malik introduced himself to Hossain, at his pizzeria and gave gifts to his children. The two became friends, and Malik offered to lend Hossain $50,000 for improvements to his restaurant. The plan was Malik would loan money to the defendants, telling them that the money was the proceeds from the sale of a missile launcher for the planned assassination of the Pakistani ambassador to the UN. During this time he posed as a member of the Pakistani militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed – a designated terrorist group in the US. Malik secretly tape-recorded conversations over a six-month period. During that time Aref was still learning English, and it is doubtful that he understood much of the discussion of the fictitious missiles.[23]

Hossain admitted an affiliation to the Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, and the government recruited terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna to testify on the group. Gunaratna prepared a report, but according to a sworn affidavit of Hossain’s defence attorney, Gunaratna’s sources were not accurate, and he had made improper references to the role of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh in the country.[24] In the event Gunaratna was replaced by Kohlmann on 24 September 2006 and he submitted his own expert report. Under cross examination Kohlmann admitted he knew neither the name of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh then or in 2003 nor the name of the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami then or in 2003. He admitted he had never written any papers on Jamaat-e-Islami, nor been interviewed about the group. He admitted he had never been to Bangladesh, and he could not name any political parties in Bangladesh.[25] Nevertheless, Kohlmann was permitted to testify as an expert. Between his cross examination and his testimony to the jury, Kohlmann spent three days researching Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh and supplemented his original report, mainly from internet sources.[26]

The men were found guilty of money laundering, conspiracy, and attempting to provide material support and resources to a terrorist organization. They were sentenced to 15 years in prison and a complete a 3 year term of supervised release after they are released from prison, forfeit $40,000, and pay special assessments of $1,000 and $4,000 respectively.[27]

R. v. Mohammed Ajmal Khan and Palvinder Singh (Snaresbrook Crown Court, 2006)

Mohammed Ajmal Khan is British man from Coventry who confessed to ‘directing a terrorist organisation’. He received an eight-year term for his involvement Lashkar-e-Toiba at Snaresbrook Crown Court in 2006. He was also sentenced to a further year for contempt of court.[28] It was his connection with Mohammed Ajmal Khan that led to Chandia’s conviction (see above). Co-defendant Palvinder Singh, who was a friend of Khan’s, was charged with conspiracy but was acquitted.[29] He told the court he had let Mohammed Ajmal Khan use his bank accounts and credit cards but had no knowledge of any connection to Lashkar-e-Toiba.[30] Kohlmann submitted an expert report on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service in the case. The report focused on Lashkar-e-Toiba’s fundraising and included an extraneous reference to Osama Bin Laden.[31]

R. v. F (Woolwich Crown Court, 2007)

The defendant in this case was a Libyan man who had friends and relatives murdered by the Libyan Government. He fled to the UK in 2002 and was granted asylum in 2003. In October 2005 his accommodation in England was raided. On 27 March 2006 he was charged under the Terrorism Act in relation to a file downloaded from the internet and a handwritten document found on the premises. The former was entitled ‘a special training course on the manufacture of explosives for the righteous fighting group until God’s will is established’. The latter concerned plans for an armed opposition to Colonel Gaddafi with a mind to ‘establishing the rule of God’. According to the Crown this material was “likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”.[32]

The case set an important precedent on the definition of terrorism which was upheld by the Court of Appeal. The Judge found that terrorism involves a threat of violence or property damage against any government in the world no matter how undemocratic or oppressive.[33]

Kohlmann was originally put forward as an expert witness on the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group at the preparatory hearing. However, after his cross examination it would appear that the Crown rather than presenting Kohlmann as an expert, put him forward as a fact witness to present internet postings. This caused the trial Judge to ask: “does it need this gentleman really, forgive me for saying so, $275 an hour and a business class transatlantic fare - jolly good for him - to come over and produce six communiques from a website?.”[34]

USA v. Rafiq Sabir (Southern District of New York, 2007)

Rafiq Sabir, a doctor from Harlem, was arrested along with his friend Tarik Ibn Osman Shah as part of an FBI sting operation. According to the attorney office press release, Shah had expressed his desire to undertake military training in Afghanistan in 1998 and had the telephone numbers of some of the defendants in United States v. Masoud Khan et al. The evidence against Sabir was that along with Shah he had pledged an oath to Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. He also said that he intended to return to Saudi Arabia for two years to work at a hospital in Riyadh and also expressed a desire to meet ‘brothers’ in Saudi Arabia.[35] Sabir was sentenced to 25 years in prison on 28 November 2007.[36] Kohlmann testified at the trial on 25 April 2007[37] on the origins and history of al Qaeda.[38]

USA v. Muntasser et al (District of Massachusetts, 2007)

In United States v. Muntasser et al three men, Emadeddin Muntasser, Samir Almonla and Muhamed Mubayyid were convicted of fraud and conspiracy in relation to a charity they had worked at during the 1990s called Care Internatioanl. Steve Emerson had been investigating Care International since 1993.[39] The case followed raids during which the FBI confiscated more than 18,000 pages of material, 40 videotapes, four computer hard drives and 100 computer disks.[40] The charges brought related essentially to tax evasion.[41] The three men were involved in setting up Care International as a tax exempt organisation but had not properly disclosed the organisation’s purpose. The prosecution charged that when the defendants had set up the organisation in June 1993 they had failed to disclose that the charity would be used for collecting funds for Jihad, and had also failed to disclose that it was the successor to the Al-Kifah Refugee Centre – alleged to have been involved in promoting Jihad in Afghanistan. Muntasser was also charged with making false statements to the FBI during an interview on 7 April 2003.[42]

Kohlmann states on Counterterrorism Blog that: ‘During the course of their lengthy investigation, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston retained me as a consultant and expert witness in the Muntasser case, and I was asked to help review hundreds of pages of evidence gathered by the FBI.’[43] Extracts from Kohlmann’s Expert Report (PDF) in the case was provided on the NEFA Foundation website. Despite the mass of material available, Kohlmann’s report focuses on newsletters released by the defendants supporting various Jihadi groups. In the 18-page extract Al-Qaeda is mentioned eight times, and Osama Bin Laden nine times.[44]

USA v. Sabri Benkhala (Eastern District of Virginia, 2007)

After Benkhala was acquitted in 2004 he was question by investigators over allegations he had attended a training camp in Afghanistan. He denied that he had ever attended a camp or having any knowledge of anyone who had. In 2006 he was charged with perjury and after a four-day trial was convicted.[45] The following extract from the Court of Appeal ruling in the case describes the nature of Kohlmann’s testimony:

In his testimony Kohlmann did not even mention Benkhala or render any opinion about him. Instead he provided the jury with useful background to enhance its ability to understand much of the facts that later would be referenced by other witnesses. Kohlmann explained the nature of the jihad camps run for foreigners as well as Pakistanis by LET in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He described for the jury the history and geography of Afghanistan and the NWFP of Pakistan, the background of and interrelationships between mujahideen movements in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Kashmir, and several of the personalities who were referenced or depicted in Benkhala’s correspondence, documents and photos, such as Azzam, Hawali, Uqla, Khatab, and Bin Laden.[46]

H.M.A. v. Mohammed Atif Siddique (Glasgow High Court, 2007)

Mohammed Atif Siddique, a young Scottish Muslim, was found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow of three terrorism offences. All the charges related to his possession of material acquired on the internet. A spokesman for Central Scotland Police was quoted as saying that there was “no evidence that Siddique was involved in an actual terrorist plot”.[47] The Judge commented at sentencing that “it is often difficult to discover and prove such conspiracies and even more difficult to do so at a point well before a terrorist act becomes imminent.”[48] Nevertheless Siddique was sentenced to six years imprisonment. Earlier that year BNP candidate Robert Cottage was found guilty of possessing bomb making chemicals but was sentenced to only 2 and a half years.[49]

At trial Kohlmann testified that the material found on Siddique’s computer demonstrated his intention to commit terrorist acts. Kohlmann filed an 18-page report on behalf of Crown Prosecutors, in which he concluded that Siddique’s collection constituted “a formidable archive of authentic Al-Qaida recruitment and technical material that is designed and likely to be used for purposes relating to the commission, perpetration, or instigation of an act of terrorism—most specifically, a suicide or 'martyrdom' operation.”[50] Kohlmann described to the jury material found on Siddique’s computer which included an al-Qaeda recruiting video encouraging Muslims to go to Iraq and become suicide.[51] He also showed the jury footage of an American man Paul Johnson being beheaded, and footage of British hostage Ken Bigley before he was beheaded.[52] That footage was posted on Kohlmann’s website not on Siddique’s laptop. Kohlmann said he showed the footage to show the brutality of al-Qaeda.[53]

R. v. Samina Malik (Old Bailey, 2007)

Samina Malik, from Southall West London, was the first woman to be convicted under the Terrorism Act 2000. The evidence against her consisted of violent poems she had written and posted online, as well as several terrorist related manuals found in her bedroom. There was no evidence connecting her to any terrorist plot, conspiracy or even any terrorist group. She was found guilty at the Old Bailey of owning terrorist manuals after being cleared of possessing an article for a terrorist purpose.[54] The crown prosecutor was quoted as saying, “These communications strongly indicate Samina Malik was deeply involved with terrorist related groups.”[55] Kohlmann appeared as an expert witness in the case although the nature of his testimony has not been reported.

R. v. Hassan Mutegombwa (Old Bailey, 2007)

Hassan Mutegombwa from West Norwood, South London was one of four men charged following a series of police raids on 1 September 2006 targeting an alleged terrorist recruitment network.[56] His arrest was part of the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Overlap. It was alleged that he “invited another to provide money and intended that it should be used, or had reasonable cause to suspect that it may be used, for the purpose of terrorism”.[57] The charges related to events on 23 July 2006 when it was alleged Mutegombwa had asked an undercover officer for £266 to help pay for a one-way flight to Africa – presumed to be for a suicide bomber. On 25 July Mutegombwa was stopped at Heathrow Airport attempting to travel to Nairobi. His luggage contained desert camouflage trousers, desert boots, a hooded top with, 'Soldier of Allah' written on the rear, a khaki sleeveless top, a camouflage Afghan headscarf, five pairs of calf length socks and fingerless black gloves. The court was told that the clothes found in the luggage were typical of those worn by insurgents in combat areas in Afghanistan and Iraq.[58] Mutegombwa was jailed for ten. Kohlmann testified at Mutegombwa’s trial although details of his testimony were not reported. It seems likely however that Kohlmann provided ‘expert’ testimony on the clothes found on Mutegombwa’s position as well as the meaning of his recording conversations with the undercover agent.

R. v. Younis Tsouli and Wasim Mughal (Woolwich Crown Court, 2007)

On 5 July 2007 Younis Tsouli, Waseem Mughal and Tariq al-Daour were sentenced to a total of 24 years' in jail. They had initially denied terrorism charges, but changed their plea to guilty more than two months in to their trial at Woolwich Crown Court. The case attracted enormous media attention, focusing on the use of the internet to promote terrorism. Younis Tsouli who used the online alias ‘irhaby007’ was said to be a key figure in what has been dubbed ‘cyber-terrorism’. The Guardian called Tsouli the “godfather of cyber-terrorism for al-Qaida”.[59] The trio were charged with “using the internet to incite murder”. According to the evidence at trial, Tsouli had posted material onto websites supporting Al-Qaeda, whilst his co-defendants provided him with stolen identities and credit card details. He boasted that he was their “favourite files-uploader online”.[60]. Although Tsouli was sentenced to 24 years in jail, Judge Openshaw said of Tsouli that he “came no closer to a bomb or a firearm than a computer keyboard”.[61] Kohlmann submitted what he called an Expert Report in the case but he acted as a fact not expert witness.[62] Kohlmann was given significant media exposure as an expert on online terrorism as a result of the trial.

USA v. Hassan Abu-Jihaad (District of Conneticut, 2008)

Hassan Abu-Jihaad a.k.a Paul R. Hall was a signalman in the US Navy. He was posted on the U.S.S. Benfold which toured the Persian Gulf in 2001 as part of the US attack on Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda. He was charged with ‘providing material support to terrorists’ and ‘communicating national defense information to persons not entitled to receive it’.[63] The charges related to communication with Azzam Publications – a website promoting Jihad – and a British man from Tooting in South London called Babar Ahmad (who Labour MP Sadiq Khan was visiting when he was bugged under orders from Scotland Yard). Abu-Jihaad was alleged to have purchased videos off Azzam Publications which glorified martyrdom. He was also accused of leaking classified information which including his Battle Group’s movements and its vulnerability to a terrorist attack.[64] There were questions over the accuracy of the information passed to Azzam Publications and the email addresses used were never definitely tied to Abu-Jihaad.[65] Nevertheless Abu-Jihaad was found guilty. Sentencing is scheduled for 23 May 2008, at which time Abu-Jihaad faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 25 years.[66]

The prosecution put forward Kohlmann as ‘an expert in terrorism who would provide testimony regarding the history, structure, and goals of al Qaeda, the recruitment of Muslim fighters, mujahideen activities in Bosnia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan (among other places), and the role of Azzam Publications among the mujahideen.’[67] Kolmann proposed to use a photograph of Osama Bin Laden during his testimony but after the Judge expressed concerns, the prosecution withdrew the request.[68] Kohlmann also proposed to show three videos during his testimony: Martyrs of Bosnia Part I and Russian Hell in the Year 2000, Parts I and II. The videos depict fighting between Chechen and Russian troops, including images of dismembered fighters and soldiers. The Court allowed the videos to be view in part as “circumstantial information that the jury could use to determine Mr. Abu-Jihaad's intent”.[69] It also allowed Kohlmann to show material available on the website of Azzam Publications at the material time including Osama bin Laden’s Declaration of War. Although there was no evidence that Abu-Jihaad had accessed these materials specifically, they were allowed to be shown to the jury as evidence of intent and motive[70] Kohlmann also submitted an Expert Report (PDF) in the case. The 19 page report includes information on Azzam Publications and evidence its support for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. It also includes background information on various Islamic groups and includes a three page entitled ‘Usama Bin Laden and the Rise of Al-Qaida in Afghanistan’. It mentions Osama Bin Laden 27 times and Al-Qaeda 34 times.[71]

USA v. Mohammed Zaki Amawi et al (Northern District of Ohio, 2008)

In USA v. Mohammed Zaki Amawi et al, three Muslim men from Ohio, Mohammed Zaki Amawi, Marwan Othman El-Hindi and Wassim Mazloum, were arrested following an FBI sting operation conducted by an ex-military man referred to in the indictment as ‘The Trainer’, but known from other sources to be entrapment specialist Darren Griffin.[72] The evidence against the defendants was various conversations with the informer about military training, as well as material downloaded from the internet.[73] The men were charged with conspiracy to ‘kill or main persons in locations outside of the United States to include U.S. armed forces personnel serving in Iraq’.[74]

The government wanted Kohlmann to testify on the “origin, nature, and utility of the actual computer evidence obtained from the defendants” – in other words what they were intended for. They also wanted Kohlmann to testify on “the use of the internet by numerous terrorist organizations as a vehicle for recruitment and training of terrorist supporters, sympathizers, and prospective jihadists”, and “to provide general information regarding international terrorism.”[75]

Despite the fact that the prosecution did not allege any connection between the defendants and any terrorist organisation, Kohlmann submitted a report on Al Qaeda’s network in Saudi Arabia, Al Qaeda’s network in Iraq, and the formation and development of the Palestinian Hamas movement.[76] According to a motion filed by the defence, the first paragraph of the first section of Kohlmann’s report used the term “Al-Qaida” four times and also mentioned “suicide bombing,” “Osama Bin Laden,” “terrorists,” “propaganda” and “Mujahideen.” The second paragraph also included a reference to September 11th[77] The defence moved to bar Kohlmann from testifying, commenting that, “The effect those words and concepts will have on the jury, however, is very clear, and indeed calculated.” [78] The prosecution also created a multi-hour video montage for presentation to the jurors, which included suicide car bombings, destruction of vehicles by I.E.D.s, making and testing of suicide vests, sniper shootings of American military personnel, dead American soldiers, execution of civilians, and desecration of bodies. It is not clear whether Kohlmann was involved in the production of the video, although in the case against Salim Ahmed Hamdan ('Bin Laden's chauffeur') he put together a film for the prosecution.[79] The Judge in USA v. Mohammed Zaki Amawi et al barred Kohlmann from testifying, and commented that the “limited probative value of his testimony is outweighed very substantially by its very considerable potential for unfair prejudice to the defendants.[80]

USA v. Salim Ahmed Hamdan (Military Commission, 2008)

Salim Ahmed Hamdan is a Yemini national detained in Guantanamo Bay. He was captured in Afghanistan in November 2001, and admitted to working as a driver and bodyguard for Osama bin Laden.[81] Hamdan was charged in July 2004 for trial by military commission under a Military Order signed by President Bush in November 2001. A challenge brought on behalf of Salim Hamdan led to the decision in June 2006 by the US Supreme Court throwing out the military commission system as unlawful. The administration and Congress responded by passing the Military Commissions Act under which Hamdan is now standing trial.[82] Hamdan is charged with conspiracy and providing material support to terrorism.[83]

On 15 February 2008 the prosecution in the case admitted into evidence a video-taped affidavit and film created by Kohlmann, which purported to chronicle the “history and development of the al Qaeda terrorist network and its declared war against the United States.” It was referred to by the prosecution as the Documentary Motion Picture the Al Qaeda Plan. The so called ‘Convening Authority’ did not approve the defence’s requests for expert assistance in refuting Kohlmann’s testimony.[84]

On 28 May 2008 jurors were shown the 90 minute film, written, produced and narrated by Kohlmann. Navy Captain. Keith J. Allred, the judge presiding over the trial of told the jurors that Hamdan was "not alleged to have been involved in any of these attacks." He had initially ruled against showing the last segment, about the September 11th attacks, agreeing that it was more defense objections that it was "more prejudicial than probative." Later however he changed his mind saying "it's not any more prejudicial" than what jurors had already seen.[85] The Los Angeles Times quoted the tribunal's chief prosecutor, Army Col. Lawrence Morris, as saying, "It is prejudicial, which is why we show it. I think people think prejudicial is somehow wrong."[86]

Other legal assistance

In USA v. Ahmad and Musa Jebril (Eastern District of Michigan, 2005) Federal prosecutors entered into evidence Kohlmann’s article ‘The Michigan Jihad’[87] under Government Exhibit A.[88]


  1. Petra Bartosiewicz, Experts in Terror The Nation, 4 February 2008
  2. Counterterrorism Blog Contributing Expert Bio's
  3. USA v. Ali Timimi, Motion in Limine regarding items found in search of Masoud Khan's House (PDF), March 2005
  4. cited in United States v. Sabri Benkhala Court of Appeal Ruling Note.7
  5. referenced in USA v. Ali Timimi, Motion in Limine regarding items found in search of Masoud Khan's House (PDF), March 2005
  6. Jerry Markon, ‘Final 'Va. Jihad' Defendant Acquitted’, Washington Post, 10 March 2004
  7. Eric Lichtblau, ‘Scholar Is Given Life Sentence in 'Virginia Jihad' Case’ New York Times, 14 July 2005
  8. Eric Lichtblau, ‘Scholar Is Given Life Sentence in 'Virginia Jihad' Case’ New York Times, 14 July 2005
  9. Petra Bartosiewicz, Experts in Terror The Nation, 4 February 2008
  10. Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina ‘Abduladhim Maktouf sentenced to five years imprisonment’, 5 April 2006, (accessed 9 April 2008)
  11. USA v. Uzair Paracha Indictment(PDF)
  12. ‘US convicts man of al-Qaeda plot’, BBC News Online, 24 November 2005
  13. Amnesty USA, Who are the Guantánamo detainees?, CASE SHEET 22, Saifullah Paracha (Accessed 10 April 2008)
  14. USA v. Uzair Paracha Trial Conscript dated 3 November 2005
  15. ‘Terror supplier gets nine years’, BBC News Online, 17 March 2006
  16. Judgment in United States v. Ali Asad Chandia, Court of Appeal, 23 January 2008
  17. Mary Beth Sheridan, ‘Hardball Tactics in an Era of Threats’, Washington Post, 3 September 2006
  18. US Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Virginia, ‘Maryland Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Providing Material Support to Terror Group’, 25 August 2006 (accessed 10 PAril 2008
  19. Judgment in United States v. Ali Asad Chandia, Court of Appeal, 23 January 2008
  20. Media:Ali_Asad_Trial_Notes.pdf Chandia Trial Notes – Day 5
  21. Petra Bartosiewicz, Experts in Terror The Nation, 4 February 2008
  22. USA v. Aref Hossain Criminal Complaint (PDF)
  23. Stephen Downs, ‘From Sting to Frame-Up: The Case of Yassin Aref’, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, September/October 2007
  24. USA v. Aref and Hossain, Affirmation of Kevin A. Luibrand (PDF) in Support of Motion to preclude the testimony of Evan Kohlmann
  25. USA v. Aref and Hossain Transcript of Kohlmann’s cross examination by defence attorney Kevin Luibrand
  26. for further details see Memorandum of law in support of Rules 29(c) and 33 Motion pp.19-21
  28. ‘Terror supplier gets nine years’, BBC News Online, 17 March 2006
  29. Man cleared of terror group link, BBC News Online, 8 March 2006
  30. Man cleared of terror group link, BBC News Online, 8 March 2006
  31. R. v. Khan and Singh, Extract from Kohlmann's Expert Report
  32. R. v. F (Court of Appeal, 2007) Judgment (PDF), 16 February 2007
  33. Doughty Street Chambers press release, ‘First Ruling on 'Terrorism'’, 26 January 2007
  34. R. v. F, Cross Examination of Kohlmann by Geoffrey Robertson QC (PDF), 23 January 2007, p.83
  35. District attorney press release on conviciton of Rafiq Sabir
  36. Larry Neumeister, ‘Doctor who offered to treat al-Qaida fighters is sentenced in New York’, The Associated Press, 29 November 2007
  37. [1] NEFA News, Wednesday, April 25, 2007]
  38. US v Hassan Abu-Jihaad Daubert Ruling p.6
  39. Kevin Keenan, ‘Analysts say fundraising for terrorists went on without notice’, Telegram and Gazette, 11 September 2006, (accessed via The Investigative Project website on 17 April 2008)
  40. Kevin Keenan, ‘Analysts say fundraising for terrorists went on without notice’, Telegram and Gazette, 11 September 2006, (accessed via The Investigative Project website on 17 April 2008)
  41. USA v. Muntasser et al Indictment (PDF), 8 March 2007
  42. Department of Justice Press Release, ‘Former Officers of a Muslim Charity, Care International, Inc., Convicted’ (PDF), 11 January 2008
  43. Evan Kohlmann, ‘U.S. v. Muntasser et al - The Evidence Behind the Convictions’, Counterterrorism Blog, 11 January 2008, (accessed 17 April 2008)
  44. Extracts from Kohlmann Expert Report (PDF) in United States v. Muntasser et al
  45. cited in United States v. Sabri Benkhala Court of Appeal Ruling Note.7
  46. cited in United States v. Sabri Benkhala Court of Appeal Ruling p.37
  47. ‘Terror Scot ‘may have been planning attack in Canada’’, The Scotsman, 18 September 2007
  48. H.M.A. v. Mohammed Atif Siddique Sentencing
  49. ‘BNP candidate was ‘stockpiling chemicals for civil war’’, Lancashire Telegraph, 2 July 2007
  50. Evan Kohlmann, ‘Operation Niche: The Conviction of Mohammed Atif Siddique’, Counterterrorism Blog, 18 September 2007 (accessed 17 April 2008
  51. ‘Court shown suicide bombing video’, BBC News Online, 6 September 2007
  52. ‘Terror trial shown beheading film’, BBC News Online, 7 September 2007
  53. ‘Terror trial shown beheading film’, BBC News Online, 7 September 2007
  54. ‘'Lyrical Terrorist' found guilty’, BBC News Online, 8 November 2007
  55. ‘'Lyrical Terrorist' found guilty’, BBC News Online, 8 November 2007
  56. ‘Four in court on terror charges’, BBC News Online, 12 September 2006
  57. John Steele, ‘Brothers face terror charges after police raids across London’, Daily Telegraph, 12 September 2006
  58. Media: Metropolitan Police Service Press Release on Conviction of Hassan Mutegombwa.pdf
  59. Mark Oliver and agencies, 'Internet jihadist' jailed for 10 years’, Guardian Online, 5 July 2007
  60. Terrorist 007 ‘was internet propagandist for al-Qaeda’, The Times, April 26, 2007
  61. Mark Oliver and agencies, ‘'Internet jihadist' jailed for 10 years’, Guardian Online, 5 July 2007
  62. USA v. Hassan Abu Jihaad, Media:Kohlmann's Expert Report(PDF)
  63. USA v. Hassan Abu-Jihaad Indictment
  64. USA v. Hassan Abu-Jihaad Indictment
  65. for more details see George Smith, Dick Destiny, ‘Caution - FBI fit-ups of Muslim patsies in progress’, The Register, 6 March 2008
  66. United States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut Press Release, JURY FINDS FORMER MEMBER OF U.S. NAVY GUILTY OF TERRORISM AND ESPIONAGE CHARGES, 5 March 2008
  67. ‘‘USA v. Hassan Abu-Jihaad’’ Daubert Ruling(PDF)
  68. ‘‘USA v. Hassan Abu-Jihaad’’ Daubert Ruling(PDF), p.9
  69. ‘‘USA v. Hassan Abu-Jihaad’’ Daubert Ruling(PDF), p.9-10
  70. ‘‘USA v. Hassan Abu-Jihaad’’ Daubert Ruling(PDF), p.12
  71. USA v. Hassan Abu-Jihaad Expert Report submitted by Evan Kohlmann (PDF)
  72. George Smith, Dick Destiny, ‘Caution - FBI fit-ups of Muslim patsies in progress’, The Register, 6 March 2008 p.2
  73. for details of the specific allegations see USA v. Mohammed Zaki Amawi et al Indictment
  74. USA v. Mohammed Zaki Amawi et al Indictment
  75. USA v. Mohammed Zaki Amawi, et al (Northern District of Ohio, Western Division) Court Order granting the defendants’ motion in limine to preclude testimony by Evan Kohlmann
  76. USA v. Mohammed Zaki Amawi et al Post Hearing Brief in Support of Motion to Exclude Testimony of Evan Kohlmann (PDF)p.4
  77. USA v. Mohammed Zaki Amawi et al Post Hearing Brief in Support of Motion to Exclude Testimony of Evan Kohlmann
  78. USA v. Mohammed Zaki Amawi et al Post Hearing Brief in Support of Motion to Exclude Testimony of Evan Kohlmann p.7
  79. USA v. Salim Ahmed Hamdan Defense Motion to Dismiss the Charges and Specifications for Unlawful Influence, 27 March 2008
  80. USA v. Mohammed Zaki Amawi, et al (Northern District of Ohio, Western Division) Court Order granting the defendants’ motion in limine to preclude testimony by Evan Kohlmann
  81. Mark Tran, ‘Profile: Salim Ahmed Hamdan’, Guardian Online, 5 June 2007
  82. Amnesty International, ‘Salim Hamdan’s habeas corpus petition dismissed’, 16 December 2006. For more information on the Military Commission see Amnesty International: Justice delayed and justice denied? Trials under the Military Commissions Act and Human Rights Watch’s webpage on Military Commissions
  83. USA v. Salim Ahmed Hamdan, Charges Sheet
  84. USA v. Salim Ahmed Hamdan [USA v. Salim Ahmed Hamdan Defense Motion 27 March 2008.pdf |Defense Motion to Dismiss the Charges and Specifications for Unlawful Influence] filed 27 March 2008
  85. Carol J. Williams, 'Guantanamo jurors shown graphic film on Al Qaeda', Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2008
  86. Carol J. Williams, 'Guantanamo jurors shown graphic film on Al Qaeda', Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2008
  87. Evan Kohlmann The Michigan Jihad, FrontPageMagazine.com, 23 October 2003
  88. United States v. Ahmad and Musa Jebril, Government Exhibit A (PDF)