Comment

“He wanted to be a lone wolf. Now he wishes he had sought mental help.” The Washington Post

The Washington Post reports that Mahmoud Elhassan has pleaded guilty to helping a friend try to join the Islamic State and subsequently lying to the FBI. Elhassan’s lawyer, Thomas A. Durkin, said that his client has had “a horrible, horrible life” and suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Elhassan apologized to his family, Muslims, and American society as he was sentenced.

CLICK FOR FULL ARTICLE

Comment

Comment

“Va. cab driver who tried to help Islamic State gets 11 years” ABC WJLA

ABC WJLA reports that Mahmoud Elhassan, a cab driver who convinced a friend to join the Islamic State has been sentenced to 11 years in prison. His lawyer, Thomas A. Durkin said that Elhassan deserved “a level of mercy” and questioned the utility of federal sentencing guidelines for terror cases which often makes the recommended sentence the statutory maximum regardless of the individual circumstances of the case.

CLICK FOR FULL ARTICLE

Comment

Comment

“A Syrian Doctor Returns to Illinois” The New Yorker

The New Yorker reports that a doctor who had been refused entry to the United States under President Trump’s executive travel order has been allowed back into the country.  He has another court date to finalize the settlement to stay in the U.S. next week but his lawyers are confident that the case is solved. One of his lawyer, Thomas A. Durkin said, “we said in our pleading that we thought it was an ill-conceived and discriminatory executive order. We stand by that.”

CLICK FOR FULL ARTICLE

Comment

Comment

“Doctor Barred By Trump Order After Wedding in UAE Allowed to Return, Judge Rules” NBC Chicago

NBC Chicago reports that Dr. Amer Al Homssi, an internal medicine resident who was barred from entering the country has now been allowed to return. His lawyer, Thomas A. Durkin said, "This is a pretty serious issue. He's a doctor. This isn't... it wasn't like he was coming to ride the Staten Island ferry." Dr. Al Homssi holds dual citizenship with Syria and United Arab Emirates and had recently traveled to the UAE to get married.

CLICK FOR FULL ARTICLE

Comment

Comment

“Chicago courts rule that doctor, 2nd plaintiff stranded by travel ban can return” ABC 7

ABC 7 reports that federal judges in Chicago blocked President Trump’s executive order on immigration and allowed a doctor born in Syria, Dr. Amer Al Homssi, as well as another plaintiff back into the United States. Dr. Al Homssi’s lawyer, Thomas A. Durkin, said that he is “delighted that lawyers were able to resolve something that probably shouldn’t have happened in the first place.”

CLICK FOR FULL ARTICLE

Comment

Comment

“The Trump era has stranded these five men at Guantanamo” The Washington Post

The Washington Post reports that five men detained at Guantanamo Bay were certified as eligible for resettlement during the last days of the Obama administration. However, they were not resettled and their future under the new administration is unclear. Thomas A. Durkin, the lawyer for one of the men, Abdul Latif Nasir, says that Nasir’s “whole life hangs in the balance due to a mere technicality that the courts and more importantly the Obama Justice Department didn’t have the courage to act on.” He called the fact that Nasir and others would remain at Guantánamo despite having been deemed eligible for resettlement “disgraceful.”

CLICK FOR FULL ARTICLE

Comment

Comment

“Ald. Cochran’s lawyer dubs charges against him ‘penny ante’” Chicago Sun Times

The Chicago Sun Times reports on the trial of a Chicago alderman, Willie Cochran, defended by Thomas A. Durkin. Cochcran pleaded not guilty to charges of bribery and pilfering donations.  Durkin said that the issue was “the relationship between money in politics, the alderman used some of the money, and put some back in” and that being an alderman is “thankless."

CLICK FOR FULL ARTICLE

Comment

Comment

"A Terror Suspect's Best Hope in Court,Wall Street Journal

Mohammed Hamzah Khan received 40 months in prison after he admitted to trying to join the terrorist group Islamic State, far less than the average 15-year sentence imposed in similar cases. The man behind the lenient deal for the 21-year-old from the Chicago suburbs was Thomas A. Durkin, a lawyer who has built his career representing suspected terrorists, white supremacists, child pornographers and other highly unpopular defendants. "He's earned his reputation as a fearless fighter for the underdog," said Thomas Sullivan, a partner as Jenner & Block LLP. "He is blunt and doesn't mind saying what he thinks even though it may get him in trouble."

CLICK FOR FULL ARTICLE

Comment

Comment

“Bolingbrook man given almost 3 ½ years for bid to join Islamic State” Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Tribune reports that Mohammed Hamzah Khan was sentenced for attempting to join the Islamic State. Khan’s lawyer, Thomas Anthony Durkin, told the judge  that Kahn was a "naive and foolish" teenager and that Khan's main goal was to join an Islamic caliphate and live according to Muslim doctrine, not fight a holy war against the U.S. His sentence is much more lenient than other sentences for similar crimes. The judge stated,  "nothing can better expose the moral depravity that is ISIS than to contrast its barbarity with the very high standard of civilized behavior" in the U.S. court system.

CLICK FOR FULL ARTICLE

Comment

Comment

"Indiana teen accused of supporting ISIL appears in federal courtWISH-TV

Akram Musleh is charged with supporting terrorism. The 18-year-old said very little during his initial court appearance Friday following an indictment earlier this month on those charges. A handful of women, later identified as family members of Musleh, smiled at him while others wiped tears during the brief appearance. In an interview with reporters Friday, Musleh’s attorney Thomas Durkin said the case against his client was trumped up out of the nation’s fear of another terrorist attack. He also argued that federal authorities should have attempted to help Musleh when they first suspected him of being influenced by radical extremists.

CLICK FOR FULL ARTICLE

Comment

Comment

"9/11 conference speakers call for Gitmo closingW-NDU

9/11 was the focus of a daylong conference at the University of Notre Dame. The gathering wasn’t your typical solemn ceremony to mark the tragic loss of lives, but instead focused on the legal liberty lost by society as a whole. “That’s a classified opinion, a client of mine, material support of a terrorism case, from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals,” said Attorney Thomas Durkin holding up a piece of paper with thick black lines covering much of the text. “Not only did I not get to read it, I didn’t get to see a good deal of the evidence that it relied upon.”

CLICK FOR FULL ARTICLE

Comment

Comment

"WARRANTLESS SURVEILLANCE IN TERROR CASE RAISES CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE" NEW YORK TIMES

This article by Charlie Savage discusses the constitutional issues surrounding surveillance operations against terror suspects. “Thomas A. Durkin, a defense lawyer who represents the Iraqi refugee, Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab, who was arrested after returning to the United States, and one of the Ohio men, Yahya Farooq Mohammad, said he would ask the judges in both cases to suppress the evidence.”

CLICK FOR FULL ARTICLE

Comment

Comment

"TERROR CONVICTS POSE DILEMMA AFTER RELEASE FROM PRISON" WALL STREET JOURNAL

“As convicted Islamic State supporters in the U.S. serve their sentences, authorities are tackling a new challenge: what to do with them when they get out of prison.” As part of the US government’s initiative to counter violent extremism, the Justice Department is considering the possibility of creating a program to help reintegrate individuals who have served time on terrorism-related charges back into society. The case of Mohammed Hamzah Khan, who was represented by Mr. Durkin, is discussed. 

CLICK FOR FULL ARTICLE

Comment

"LOOP TERROR LAWYER TRIES TO BAR 2ND CASE," ALLEGES Feds lured defendant, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

In the case of an Illinois man set to go on trial for attempting to detonate a car bomb outside of a tavern, attorney Thomas A. Durkin accused federal investigators of enlisting a 'hulking gangbanger' to lure the Defendant into a plot to murder an undercover agent. Durkin has also sought to determine whether the investigation against his client resulted from an NSA surveillance program.

CLICK FOR FULL ARTICLE

Comment

"ATTORNEY THOMAS DURKIN ON TERRORISM CASES" CHICAGO TRIBUNE

A brief interview with Thomas Durkin in the aftermath of U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Cox’s order for Mohammed Hamzah Khan to be held without bond. He discusses how terrorism cases are “different.” 

CLICK FOR FULL VIDEO

Comment