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Opening Statements in Padilla Trial

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Federal prosecutors allege Jose Padilla was a key player in a cell that provided military equipment and money to terrorist groups. That’s according to opening statements during Padilla’s trial in Miami today. Chicago Public Radio’s Lynette Kalsnes reports.


Padilla and two other defendants are accused of being part of a cell based in South Florida that allegedly supported al-Qaida and other extremist groups.

Padilla is a former Chicago gang member. He originally was accused of plotting to set off a dirty bomb in the U.S. He was held more than three years as an enemy combatant.

The dirty bomb allegations are not part of the current trial. Instead, prosecutors accuse Padilla of being an al-Qaida trainee.

Defense attorneys are scheduled to present their opening statements this afternoon.

All three defendants have pleaded not guilty, and face possible life sentences. The trial is expected to continue into August.

I’m Lynette Kalsnes, Chicago Public Radio.

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