Jose Padilla Found Guilty On All Counts
Suspected 'Dirty Bomber' Charged With Supporting Terror Groups
A federal jury has found Jose Padilla guilty on all counts on charges of supporting violent Islamic extremist groups overseas, including al-Qaida.
The jury convicted Padilla of conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim individuals in a foreign country, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorist, and providing material support to terrorists, according to attorney general Alberto R. Gonzales announced Wednesday.
Padilla had been held for three and a half years as an enemy combatant, in a case that came to symbolize the Bush administration's zeal to stop homegrown terror.
He initially was accused of plotting to set off a radioactive "dirty bomb," but that allegation was not a part of this case, Local 10's Rad Berky reported.
Padilla's two co-defendants, Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi, were also convicted on all counts.
The verdict was held for two hours and just after 2 p.m. the announcement was made.
Padilla, Hassoun and Jayyousi face possible sentences of life in prison.
"The conviction of Jose Padilla -- an American who provided material support to terrorists and trained for violent jihad -- is a significant victory in our efforts to fight the threat posed by terrorists and their supporters," said Gonzalez.
Padilla's Mother Says Scare Tactics Used
Padilla's mother told Local 10 outside of the courtroom that there was no evidence to convict her son.
In her only extended interview after Wednesday's conviction of her son, Estela Ortega Lebron told Berky that prosecutors used scare tactics to win a guilty verdict.
"Mr. Bush, that's a win for him. He's going to continue to scare the whole country," said Lebron.
She accused federal prosecutors of trying to create fear in the jury by showing an old interview with Osama bin Laden and showing photographs of her son dressed in Middle Eastern garb.
"No evidence and guilty, guilty, guilty. Guilty of what?" said Lebron.
Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 5 before U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke in the southern district of Florida.
"I am a little sad, but God is with him," Lebron told Local 10.
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