Center for Constitutional Rights v. CIA, No. 13-3684 (2d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
CCR seeks disclosure of certain videos and photographs of a high-profile Guantanamo Bay detainee, Mohammed al-Qahtani (the so called "20th hijacker" in the September 11, 2001 attacks), under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552. The court held that the government has met its burden of establishing that these images are exempt from disclosure under FOIA Exemption 1, which authorizes non-disclosure of records that are properly authorized by Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of "national defense or foreign policy." The court found that the declarations submitted by the government establish with adequate specificity that release of images depicting the detainee could logically and plausibly harm national security because these images are uniquely susceptible to use by anti-American extremists as propaganda to incite violence against United States interests domestically and abroad. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for defendants.