The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) provides legal defense and litigation services to political extremists from around the world, from Marxist-Leninists to Islamist fundamentalists. The group's leader, Michael Ratner, is an occasional collaborator with Blackwater critic Jeremy Scahill.
Depending on one's perspective, the CCR has been described variously as a "human rights" group, a "civil rights" group, a "terrorist support" group and a "fifth column law factory."
As we reported on September 19, Ratner and CCR lawyers have represented or advocated for a rogue's gallery of cop-killers and enemies of the United States. Over the years they include:
- Abdullah al-Muhajir (aka Jose Padilla) , the convicted al Qaeda conspirator known as the "dirty bomber";
- Mumia Abu-Jamal, a convicted cop killer;
- Leonard Peltier, convicted of murdering two FBI agents;
- Clayton Lonetree, a former Marine convicted of spying for the Soviet KGB;
- Wilfred Burchett, a journalist and KGB agent.
- Victor Manuel Gerena, a Puerto Rican terrorist on FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list, now hiding in Cuba;
- Kurt Groenwald, a German Red Army Faktion (Baader-Meinhof Gang) terrorist lawyer;
- Yu Kikamura, a Japanese Red Army terrorist working for Libya;
- Jamil Abdullah al-Amin (aka H. Rap Brown), a convicted cop killer;
- Abdul Majid and Bashir Hameed, both convicted cop killers;
- Assata Shakur (aka Joanne Chesimard), a convicted bank robber and cop killer;
- William Morales, a Puerto Rican convicted terrorist bomber;
- Mousa Abu Marzook, a leader of HAMAS;
- Mazin Assi, a Palestinian convicted of firebombing a Bronx synagogue;
- Omar Abdel Rahman, the "Blind Sheikh," a spiritual leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad who was convicted of being behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York; considered an early spiritual leader of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.
- Lynne Stewart, convicted of aiding a designated terrorist organization; a lawyer and activist on behalf of Omar Abdel Rahman.