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Mr. Dinh on Tuesday filed a writ of mandamus, a legal maneuver that asks a judge to order a public agency to fulfill a statutory duty. He said the PMOI’s lawyers want the federal court to “order the secretary of state to delist the group as a foreign terrorist organization.”

Mr. Dinh drew immediate support from many former U.S. national security officials who joined a legal brief filed by Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard Law School professor and one of the top U.S. defense attorneys.

Mr. Dershowitz said the former national security officials and retired generals who joined him in his brief all had access to intelligence on the PMOI or had first-hand dealings with the resistance.

They believe “there is no evidence that PMOI has the capability or intent to engage in terrorism or terrorist activities,” Mr. Dershowitz said.

He also complained that the State Department’s “foot-dragging” is “powerful evidence” it cannot justify keeping the PMOI on the list.

Others who joined Mr. Dershowitz in the brief include: former Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey; former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge; former FBI Director Louis Freeh; former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani; and retired Gen. Hugh Shelton, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email jmorrison@washingtontimes.com. The column is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.