After Al-Qaeda terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC on September 11, 2001, the United States launched the “War on Terror.” The U.S. demanded that the Taliban government of Afghanistan surrender Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and stop Al-Qaeda terrorist operations in Afghanistan; the Taliban government refused. In October 2001, a U.S.-led coalition of forces invaded Afghanistan and attacked the Taliban government and Al-Qaeda terrorists. In December 2001, the Taliban government was ousted, and the UN assisted with the formation of the Afghan Interim Administration. In the course of the war, civilians were killed by U.S.-led coalition forces, Afghan government forces, Taliban insurgents, and other armed insurgent groups. In 2007, after receiving communications since June 2006 of alleged atrocity crimes committed in Afghanistan, a State Party, the ICC Office of the Prosecutor made public its preliminary examination on the basis that alleged atrocity crimes had been committed upon a state party’s territory.
Proprio Motu Investigations
The ICC Prosecutor may start a preliminary examination proprio motu (“on one’s own initiative” in Latin), into alleged atrocity crimes that have occurred either:
- on the territory, or by a national, of any State Party; or
- on the territory, or by a national, of a non-State Party that has consented to the jurisdiction of the ICC.
The ICC Prosecutor must receive approval from judges to open a formal investigation after completing her preliminary examination.jump to this section