WASHINGTON – A federal jury in the Southern District of Florida has convicted Jose Padilla of conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim individuals in a foreign country, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales announced today.
The same jury also returned guilty verdicts against two of Padilla’s co-defendants, Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi. Both defendants were also convicted of conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim individuals in a foreign country, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists.
Padilla and his co-defendants face maximum sentences of life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 5, 2007, before U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke in the Southern District of Florida.
“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 Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. “I congratulate the prosecutors and investigators who worked tirelessly in this case. As this trial demonstrated, we will use our authority as prosecutors to dismantle terrorist networks and those who support them in the United States and abroad.”
“This case demonstrates that we will make full use of our intelligence and law enforcement authorities to prevent individuals – and particularly our own countrymen – from supporting and joining the ranks of our terrorist enemies,” said Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. “America should take great pride in the work of the many investigators, agents and prosecutors whose diligence, creativity and perseverance led to today’s successful verdict.”
“After two days of deliberations, a jury of 12 men and women today returned guilty verdicts against Adham Hassoun, Kifah Wael Jayyousi and Jose Padilla,” said U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta of the Southern District of Florida. “I would like to thank the jury for their time and careful attention to the evidence presented during this four-month trial, and I would like to thank especially the many prosecutors, paralegals and agents whose professionalism, hard work and dedication throughout the legal proceedings made possible today’s court victory.”
“We are pleased with the jury’s verdicts and the message it sends to those who would cause us harm,” said FBI Deputy Director John S. Pistole. “Preventing terrorism is our top priority and this case demonstrates the strength and success of our combined intelligence and criminal justice efforts.”
The defendants were charged in an 11-count superseding indictment returned on Nov. 17, 2005. The jury found the defendants guilty of being part of a North American support cell designed to send money, physical assets, and mujahadeen recruits to overseas jihad conflicts. The cell operated from many cities in the United States and Canada, and supported and coordinated with other support networks and mujahadeen groups waging violent jihad.
The jury found 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 filled out a “Mujahadeen Data Form” in preparation for violent jihad training in Afghanistan.
Mohamed Youssef, one of the co-defendants in the case, reported in September 2000 that Padilla is “supposed to be at Usama’s,” and later reported that he had “entered into the area of Usama.” Other co-conspirators reported Padilla being in Afghanistan in October 2000.
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.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Frazier, Russell Killinger and John Shipley of the Southern District of Florida, and Trial Attorney Stephanie Pell of the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.