United States v. Duka, No. 09-2292 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Defendants came to the FBI's attention because of a video taken to a store for copying; it depicted defendants shooting weapons and shouting jihad slogans. At trial, the government presented evidence of a plot to attack military bases: recorded conversations; testimony by confidential informants and agents who coordinated the 16-month investigation; videos of training in the Poconos; propaganda videos advocating violent jihad, including attacks against service members; and video of defendants purchasing automatic weapons. Defendants were convicted of conspiring to murder U.S. military personnel, 18 U.S.C. 1114 and 1117 and of firearm offenses. The Third Circuit affirmed most of the convictions, rejecting evidentiary and other challenges to the conduct of the trial. The court rejected a constitutional challenge to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (50 U.S.C. 1801) as amended by the Patriot Act, under which evidence was procured. The "significant purpose" standard of the Act reflects a balance between legitimate needs of government for intelligence information and protected rights of citizens. The court properly admitted certain out-of-court statements against a defendant under the coconspirator exception to the hearsay rule. The court vacated one conviction of attempted possession of firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence (18 U.S.C. 924(c)(1)(A)).