U.S. to seek 30-year maximum sentence for Jose Padilla

al-Qaida operative originally sentenced to 17 years in prison after 2007 conviction

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MIAMI - Federal prosecutors will seek a prison sentence no longer than 30 years for Jose Padilla, convicted in 2007 of supporting al-Qaida and terror conspiracy charges.

Padilla's attorney said in court papers filed Wednesday the U.S. has agreed to the 30-year maximum. Padilla was originally sentenced to more than 17 years behind bars, but an appeals court threw out that sentence as too lenient.

A hearing on Padilla's new sentence is set next Tuesday in Miami federal court. Padilla's lawyers will likely seek less than 30 years.

Padilla was arrested by the FBI in 2002 on what authorities said was an al-Qaida mission to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" inside the U.S. Those accusations were dropped.

Before trial, Padilla was held without charge as an enemy combatant for more than three years.

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