The Miami Herald reports today on the latest development in the Jose Padilla case:
After the U.S. military invaded Afghanistan to oust its Taliban rulers, authorities found a locker full of applications to join al Qaeda’s holy war overseas.
Among the alleged applicants: José Padilla, the former ”enemy combatant” who once lived in Broward County.
A prosecutor produced the alleged document for the first time Thursday in Miami federal court, where Padilla pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges that he was a recruit for a North American terrorist cell with South Florida links that aided Islamic jihad abroad.
…”It was recovered by U.S. personnel in late 2001 after the United States began bombing Afghanistan,” Justice Department lawyer Stephanie Pell said, referring to Padilla’s alleged al Qaeda application.
She added it was found among 80 to 100 other mujahadeen (holy warrior) applications found in the country, which harbored al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden before he masterminded the Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. terrorist attacks.
Pell said Padilla’s July 24, 2000, application was authenticated by a ”cooperating government witness” convicted in an unrelated case who had once filled out the same Arabic ”mujahadeen data form.” She said Padilla’s date of birth, Oct. 18, 1970, was on his application along with his adopted Muslim name, Abu Abdullah Al Mujahir.
I obtained the five-page document (plus the five-page English translation) from the US Attorney’s Office in Florida this afternoon. Click here for the full document (.pdf file).
Here’s an excerpt of the first page in Arabic:
And here’s a bit of the English translation from a different page:
Yes, they asked him about his “hobbies.”
Padilla’s lawyer denies the terror suspect filled out the form.