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Lawyers of Accused Terrorists Demand First Class Airline Tickets
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Lawyers of Accused Militants Demand First Class Airline Tickets

Summary: Defense attorneys for accused al-Shabaab terrorists have demanded first class tickets for an upcoming trip to Africa for a deposition.

It’s not unusual for lawyers to be reimbursed for travel expenses they incur while working on a case, but defense attorneys for three suspected al-Shabaab terrorists have gone even further—they have asked a Brooklyn judge to upgrade their airline seats to first class.


According to the New York Daily News, the trip is scheduled for an undisclosed country in Africa. Federal prosecutors will also make the trip to Africa, and have expressed no disagreement with flying coach. Since they will be flying coach, they argue, the defense attorneys can, too.

An Ohio man was recently arrested for planning to bomb the Capitol.

The defense attorneys represent Mohammed Yusuf, Madhi Hashi, and Ali Yasin Ahmed, three men who are accused of providing material support to al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based terrorist organization.

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The federal government is paying for the airfare and hotel expenses for the trip, which is scheduled to take the deposition of a terrorist who is in prison. For unknown reasons, the deposition could not be conducted by video chat.

Last year, thirty people were killed in a terrorist attack on a Kenyan mall.

David Stern, Yusuf’s attorney, submitted the request for the upgrade to Federal Judge Sandra Townes. Stern argued that the depositions “are of critical importance…and the attorneys should be alert and rested to conduct them. Travel by coach will make it impossible for the attorneys to work and/or sleep effectively upon our arrival.”

Should the defense attorneys be provided with first class seats?

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The total travel time for the trip may be up to 26 hours, and there will be an eight-hour time difference once the attorneys land in Africa.

Jordan has executed ISIS militants after a Jordanian pilot was brutally executed by the group.

The defense has also argued that each defendant needs two attorneys present for the deposition, to which the prosecutors have also objected, arguing that one attorney per defendant is sufficient.

Al-Shabaab joined Al Qaeda in 2012, and has facilitated several attacks in Africa against the United Nations, as well as U.S. interests in the area. According to Wikipedia, the group is also believed to be responsible for the death of tens of thousands of elephants that are killed for ivory. They are also suspected of killing rangers who are hired to protect the elephants.

Source: New York Daily News

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