LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – A lawyer for one of former “enemy combatant” Jose Padilla’s co-defendants portrayed the government’s case in the terrorism support trial on Tuesday as “U.S. versus Islam” and said it relied on fear of Muslims to cover a lack of evidence.
“That kind of fear and prejudice is what you have sworn your most sacred oath to put aside,” defense attorney William Swor told the jury that is expected to begin deliberations later on Tuesday.
Padilla, a U.S. citizen who was held without charge in a military prison for 3 1/2 years by order of President George W. Bush before being charged in the case, is the best known among the three defendants.
He and the other two, Adham Hassoun and Kifah Jayyousi, face life in prison if convicted of providing material support for Islamist terrorist groups and conspiring to murder, kidnap and maim people in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia and other countries from 1993 to 2001.
The government charged that Hassoun, a Lebanese-born Palestinian, and Jayyousi, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Jordan, formed a support cell that recruited and financed fighters bent on establishing Islamist governments that would follow strict Sharia law.
Prosecutors said Hassoun recruited Padilla at a Florida mosque and arranged for him to go to an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan, which defense lawyers denied.