Jose Padilla was convicted of federal terrorism support charges Thursday after being held for 3 1/2 years as an enemy combatant in a case that came to symbolize the Bush administration's zeal to stop homegrown terror.
The New York Times adds:
Padilla and co-defendants Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi were convicted of conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim people overseas, which carries a penalty of life in prison. All three were also convicted of two terrorism material support counts, which carry potential 15-year sentences each," reported the .
U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke set a Dec. 5 sentencing date for all three defendants.
Background from an AP Story:
Padilla was first detained in 2002 because of much more sensational accusations. The Bush administration portrayed Padilla, a U.S. citizen and Muslim convert, as a committed terrorist who was part of an al-Qaida plot to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" in the U.S. The administration called his detention an important victory in the war against terrorism, not long after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The charges brought in civilian court in, however, were a pale shadow of those initial claims in part because Padilla, 36, was interrogated about the plot when he was held as an enemy combatant for 3 1/2 years in military custody with no lawyer present and was not read his Miranda rights.
Padilla's attorneys fought for years to get his case into federal court, and he was finally added to the Miami terrorism support indictment in late 2005 just as thewas poised to consider 's authority to continue detaining him. Padilla had lived in South Florida in the 1990s and was supposedly recruited by Hassoun at a mosque to become a mujahedeen fighter. . . .
Central to the investigation were some 300,000wiretap intercepts collected from 1993 to 2001, mainly involving Padilla's co-defendants Hassoun and Jayyousi and others. Most of the conversations were in Arabic and purportedly used code such as "tourism" and "football" for violent jihad or "zucchini" and "eggplant" instead of military weapons or ammunition.
The bulk of these conversations and other evidence concerned efforts in the 1990s by Hassoun and Jayyousi, both 45, to assist Muslims in conflict zones such as, Bosnia, Somalia, and Lebanon.