Jose Padilla?

 


Alleged al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla (centre) is brought to Miami by federal marshalls in January 2006. Photograph: AP/Alan Diaz
Jose Padilla being escorted by federal marshals in a January 2006. Photograph: AP/Alan Diaz
 

The finest justice money can buy?


So filling out a form to join "Al Qaeda" is worth a 17 YEAR prison sentence?

<<<The case relied on 300,000 FBI wiretap intercepts collected from 1993 to 2001, mainly involving Hassoun and Jayyousi, with Padilla heard on only seven.

Speaking in Arabic, they purportedly used code words such as "tourism" and "football" for jihad, or "zucchini" and "eggplant" for military weapons or ammunition. Padilla took no part in conversations using the alleged codewords.>>>



A US citizen held for more than three years without charge as an "enemy combatant" was today sentenced to 17 years and four months in prison for conspiring to murder, kidnap and maim overseas, including in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Bosnia.

Jose Padilla, a 37-year-old Muslim convert, was originally arrested in 2002 and accused of planning to detonate a radioactive "dirty" bomb and blow up buildings in Washington, but he was never charged in relation to those alleged offences.

In 2005, he was added to the case of two other men accused of supporting terrorism just as the US supreme court was considering his challenge to George Bush's decision to hold him in custody indefinitely without charge.

District judge Marcia Cooke today said she was giving Padilla some credit - over the objections of federal prosecutors - for his lengthy military detention at a navy jail in South Carolina.

She agreed with defence lawyers that he was subjected to "harsh conditions" and "extreme environmental stresses" while there.

"I do find that the conditions were so harsh for Mr Padilla they warrant consideration in the sentencing in this case," the judge said.

She also handed down sentences to his co-defendants Adham Hassoun, a Lebanese-born Palestinian, who was jailed for 15 years and eight months, and Kifah Jayyousi, a naturalised US citizen from Jordan, who will serve 12 years and eight months. All three defendents potentially faced life sentences.

The men were convicted in August last year of providing material support to violent Islamist groups.

Cooke said that while the crimes were "serious", there was "no evidence the defendants had personally killed or maimed anyone".

The case was one of the highest profile terror-related cases to be heard in a US court since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Much of what Padilla supposedly told interrogators during his long detention as an enemy combatant could not be used in court because he had no access to a lawyer and was not read his constitutional rights.

Padilla, a Puerto Rican born in Brooklyn who later changed his name to Abdullah al-Muhajir, was a member of the Chicago-based Maniac Latin Disciples street gang before converting to Islam.

He left the US in 1998 for the Middle East and was arrested in 2002 at O'Hare airport, Chicago, on his return to the US.

The court heard that that Hassoun, 45, a computer programmer, and Jayyousi, also 45, an engineer and schools administrator, had set up a terrorist cell in Florida. They recruited Padilla at a mosque in Florida and sent him to an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan.

The case relied on 300,000 FBI wiretap intercepts collected from 1993 to 2001, mainly involving Hassoun and Jayyousi, with Padilla heard on only seven.

Speaking in Arabic, they purportedly used code words such as "tourism" and "football" for jihad, or "zucchini" and "eggplant" for military weapons or ammunition. Padilla took no part in conversations using the alleged codewords.

The key piece of physical evidence was a five-page form Padilla supposedly filled out in July 2000 to attend an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan. The document, apparently recovered by the CIA in 2001 in Afghanistan, contains seven of Padilla's fingerprints.

"It's a tragedy that Mr Padilla has to spend another day in prison," his lawyer, Michael Caruso, said after the sentencing

 

News Updates from Citizens for Legitimate Government

22 Jan 2008
http://www.legitgov.org/

 http://www.legitgov.org/index.html#breaking_news

Breaking: Fred Thompson (R) has pulled out of the 2008 presidential race.

'Enemy combatant' receives 17-year US jail term 22 Jan 2008 A US citizen held for more than three years without charge as an "enemy combatant" [Jose Padilla] was today sentenced to 17 years and four months in prison for conspiring to murder, kidnap and maim overseas, including in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Bosnia.

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