A member of an unrelated terrorist group testified today he learned about weapons and explosives and prepared for jihad at an al-Qaida training camp which prosecutors say alleged terrorist Jose Padilla also attended.
Yahya Goba, a 30-year-old Yemeni-American and a member of the ’Lackawanna Six’ terror group, said in federal court in Miami that he filled out a “mujahedeen data form” identical to the one allegedly completed by Padilla for the al-Farooq camp in a remote area near Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Padilla, held for three-and-a-half years as an enemy combatant, and two co-defendants are on trial for allegedly supporting al-Qaida and other Islamic extremists.
The 36-year-old US citizen and former Chicago gang member was arrested in May 2002 at O’Hare International Airport on suspicion that he was part of an al-Qaida plot to detonate a radioactive “dirty bomb” in a US city. Those allegations are not part of the Miami indictment, which claims he was part of a North American support cell for Muslim radicals around the world.
Padilla was added to the existing Miami case in November 2005 during a legal battle over the president’s wartime powers to indefinitely detain US citizens. He and co-defendants Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi face life in prison if convicted.
Goba, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence, testified about his stay at the Afghan training camp in the summer 2001, where he learned about plastic explosives, war tactics and how to fire weapons such as AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and handguns.