WASHINGTON, D.C. – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – A federal grand jury in Miami has returned an 11-count superseding indictment that charges Jose Padilla and four additional defendants with conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals and providing material support to terrorists as part of a North American terrorist support cell.
The indictment, returned by the grand jury on Nov. 17, 2005 and unsealed today, charges Padilla with conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists. The indictment also charges for the first time a Canadian national named Kassem Daher, who is believed to be overseas. The three other defendants named in the indictment – Adham Hassoun, Mohamed Youssef and Kifah Jayyousi – had been previously charged with terrorism-related crimes.
“The indictment of Jose Padilla and his associates in an alleged North American terrorist support cell demonstrates that we will use every tool at our disposal in vigorously fighting the war on terrorism,” said Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. “Through the use of such tools, including vital provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, we are able to bring criminal prosecutions that strike at the heart of terrorist activities.”
The indictment alleges that Padilla traveled overseas to receive violent jihad training and to fight violent jihad, which would include acts of murder, kidnapping and maiming, from October 1993 to November 2001. On July 24, 2000, Padilla allegedly filled out a “Mujahideen Data Form” in preparation for violent jihad training in Afghanistan. Mohamed Youssef, one of the co-defendants in the case, allegedly reported in September 2000 that Padilla is “supposed to be at Usama’s,” and then reported that he had “entered into the area of Usama.” Other co-conspirators reported Padilla being in Afghanistan in October 2000, according to the indictment.
The indictment alleges that the named defendants were part of a North American support cell designed to send money, physical assets and mujahideen recruits to overseas jihad conflicts. The cell allegedly operated from many cities in the United States and Canada, and supported and coordinated with other support networks and mujahideen groups waging violent jihad.
If convicted of the offenses in the indictment, Padilla and his co-defendants face maximum sentences of life in prison.
An indictment is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
The investigation into the case was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Department of Homeland Security. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Russell Killinger, Brian Frazier and Julia Paylor of the Southern District of Florida, and Trial Attorney Stephanie Pell of the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.