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Terrorism

Padilla a ‘Small Pawn,’ Juror Says

Posted Aug 17, 2007 8:20 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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One of the jurors who voted to convict Jose Padilla on terrorism charges says the former gang member was “just a small pawn.”

“He was guilty--believe me,” the juror told the Miami Herald. “But there were much bigger people involved.''

Padilla and two co-defendants were convicted of all charges yesterday following only 11 hours of jury deliberations. The three men were found guilty of conspiring to "murder, kidnap and maim” people overseas and to provide material support to terrorists. See this ABAJournal.com post for more details.

The juror, who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, said the co-defendants are more senior operatives. The juror described Adham Amin Hassoun as the “East Coast recruiter” for al-Qaida and Kifah Wael Jayyousi as “the money man.''

An American who converted to Islam, Padilla was arrested in 2002 and accused of plotting to detonate a so-called dirty bomb. That charge was later dropped. Prosecutors at trial contended he was a “star recruit” for al-Qaida, working with the two more experienced co-defendants to support terrorism.

''I understand why they're focusing on Padilla,'' the juror said. "But why aren't [the co-defendants’] pictures on TV, too?''

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