Translator: Padilla Feeling Charitable
As the ongoing terrorism support trial of Jose Padilla ended its fifth week in Miami, even the government’s own witness had to concede in cross-examination that the defense had a point.
The lead investigator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation testified that a translator said Padilla might have been thought to be involved in a legitimate effort to send charitable relief to struggling fellow Muslims abroad. But the FBI agent insisted that seemingly innocent terms used by Padilla in intercepted phone conversations also had a more sinister meaning, reports AP. For example, “tourism” was code for “jihad,” said John T. Kavanaugh, explaining that the translator “didn’t have the advantage I had of reviewing all the materials.”
Held for three years as an “enemy combatant” and initially accused of plotting to detonate a so-called dirty bomb in the U.S., Padilla is now being tried on lesser charges.The trial is expected to continue throughout most of the summer.