Thursday, August 16, 2007

Padilla found guilty

Jose Padilla, (the American citizen who sat in prison for 22 months without even being able to talk to an attorney) has finally had his day in court, and he was convicted. He faces life in prison.

The key piece of physical evidence was a five-page form Padilla supposedly filled out in July 2000, to attend an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan, which would link the other two defendants as well to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida.

The form, apparently recovered by the CIA in 2001 in Afghanistan, contains seven of Padilla's fingerprints and several other personal identifiers, such as his birth date and abilities in Spanish, English and Arabic.

"He provided himself to al-Qaida for training to learn to murder, kidnap and maim," said Brian Frazier, the assistant state prosecutor, said in closing arguments.

Padilla's lawyers insisted the form was far from conclusive and denied that he was a "star recruit," as prosecutors claimed, of a North American support cell intending to become a terrorist. They said he traveled to Egypt in September 1998 to learn Islam more deeply and become fluent in Arabic. |US citizen guilty of aiding al-Qaida cells - Guardian|
I'm glad that Padilla was given due process. I don't know if he had a fair trial, but at least it was a trial. The American legal system isn't perfect, but it's the best we have at the moment and all we can do is work to make it better.

As to Padilla, I won't be losing any sleep over him. It sounds to me like he was a bad man before he converted to Islam.

Padilla's story reminds me a little bit of My Jihad by Aukai Collins. NRO has a decent book review here.

I'm inclined to think that religious extremists of all stripes are a serious problem, whether they be Muslim, Christian, or Shintoist.

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