Copyright (c) 2000 Columbia Human Rights Law Review
Columbia Human Rights Law Review
SYMPOSIUM: DEPORTATION, NATIONAL SECURITY, AND ALIENS' RIGHTS AFTER RENO V. AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI-DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE: THE "L.A. EIGHT" AND INVESTIGATION OF TERRORIST THREATS IN THE UNITED STATES
31 Colum. Human Rights L. Rev. 479
by William C. Banks*
In the pre-dawn hours of January 26, 1987, scores of officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and Los Angeles Police Department began an anti-terrorism operation in the Los Angeles area. Awakened by loud knocks on his door, Khader Hamide, a permanent resident alien and aspiring United States citizen, opened the door at seven a.m. and was handed an arrest warrant. Another warrant was handed to Julie, Hamide's wife. Both were told that they were terrorists. They were handcuffed and whisked away in separate cars, while police blocked the street outside and a helicopter hovered overhead. The same scene was repeated at six other locations in the Los Angeles area that morning, while an eighth suspect was later arrested while taking a college chemistry exam. For twenty-three days, six of the "L.A. Eight" sat in maximum security cells. 1 Although no criminal charges were ever filed against any of them, their legal problems are not over, thirteen years later. 2
Amid growing fears of potential terrorist attacks in the United States, in January 1986 President Reagan issued National Security Decision Directive 207 (NSDD), a secret directive that created the National Program for Combating Terrorism. 3 On the west coast, the FBI began to probe what it believed to be a shadowy network in the United States that raised funds for international terrorism and threatened to provide the catalyst for terrorist attacks in the United States. 4 The NSDD also created ...
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