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Jose Padilla on Trial

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A former Chicago gang member accused of aiding terrorist groups is on trial in Miami. Chicago Public Radio’s Lynette Kalsnes reports.

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Jose Padilla was once accused of plotting to set off a dirty bomb in the United States. Those allegations are not on trial.

In opening statements yesterday, prosecutors claimed Padilla is an al-Qaida trainee. A key piece of evidence is an al-Qaida application form he allegedly filled out.

Prosecutors say Padilla and the two other defendants were key players in a cell that provided money and military equipment to terrorist groups.

But according to AP reports, Padilla’s attorney said there was little evidence of a crime or conspiracy. He said Padilla wanted to become a religious leader, and is wrongly accused.

All three defendants have pleaded not guilty. The trial is expected to continue into August.

I’m Lynette Kalsnes, Chicago Public Radio.

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