LawFuel – The Law Newswire – The Baltimore Sun reports today that federal prosecutors begin to present evidence today against Jose Padilla, who is accused of terrorism. Their case is expected to rest heavily on a single document: his alleged application to become an Islamic warrior.
The Mujahedeen Data Form reportedly was filled out by Padilla on July 24, 2000, “in preparation for violent jihad training in Afghanistan,” according to a federal indictment that alleges that Padilla and two co-defendants sought U.S. recruits and funding for holy wars.
Proof of the document’s authenticity and how the U.S. government got it are not spelled out. Prosecutors plan to call a covert CIA operative to testify in disguise about the document, and will introduce more than 100 transcripts from wiretapped conversations.
Nowhere in the 40-page indictment is there any mention of the charges leveled against Padilla when he was arrested at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in May 2002. Then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft alleged that agents had thwarted a plot between Padilla, 36, and top al-Qaida figures to detonate a radioactive “dirty bomb” or blow up apartment buildings in American cities.
The allegation that Padilla was part of a plot to detonate a dirty bomb was dropped in November 2005, when the Pentagon transferred him out of a military brig in Charleston, S.C.