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Civil rights groups weigh in on secret documents

Published: Friday, May 9, 2014 12:39 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO — Civil liberties groups are backing a federal judge's decision in a Chicago terrorism case to give defense lawyers unprecedented access to secret intelligence-court records.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation asked Friday for the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to consider their support when it rules on the issue.

The case involves 20-year-old Adel Daoud (dah-OOHD'), who denies trying to detonate a bomb outside a Chicago bar.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled Daoud's lawyers should be able to see documents that investigators submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court about their client.

In their appeal, prosecutors say that ruling went against established procedures. But the civil liberties groups say the long practice of keeping such papers secret didn't make it right.

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