Jose Padilla Indicted

Via Breitbart (AP):

"Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen held without charges for more than three years on suspicion of plotting a "dirty bomb" attack in this country, has been indicted on three counts alleging he conspired to "murder, maim and kidnap" people overseas.

The indictment naming Padilla and four others was unsealed Tuesday after being returned last week by a federal grand jury in Miami. While the charges allege Padilla was part of a U.S.-based terrorism conspiracy, they do not include the government's earlier allegations that he planned to carry out attacks in America.

The indictment alleges that Padilla traveled overseas to train as a terrorist with the intention of fighting a violent jihad," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said at a news conference. Gonzales declined to comment on why none of the allegations involving attacks in America were included in the indictment.

Padilla, a Brooklyn-born Muslim convert, had been held as an "enemy combatant" in Defense Department custody. The Bush administration had resisted calls to charge and try him in civilian courts.

With the indictment, Padilla will be transferred from military custody to the Justice Department. Gonzales said the case would go to trial in September of 2006. Padilla faces life in prison if convicted on the three charges _ one count each of conspiracy to murder, maim and kidnap people overseas, providing material support to terrorists and conspiracy."

Seems to be a "punt" by the JD on this one. No charge on the Dirty Bomb plot.

I would have preferred a Supreme Court hearing as no doubt the issue of holding American Citizen's without charges is going to have to be decided, although Congress already gave the President the authority to hold Padilla. As Gonzales noted when asked by a reporter whether he "regretted" holding Padilla so long (what in the hell is with the press and "are you sorry" script!)

Gonzales correctly noted: "The president was authorized to detain Mr. Padilla as an enemy combatant. I will leave it at that." He said the USA Patriot Act allowed prosecutors to "share information collected by court order."

He's right.

Yet a Supremes decision would forever nail the issue down - absolutely- to beat back those who would seem bent on giving terrorist simply, "counseling and understanding."

On the whole it looks like they are going for what they can get now with Padilla. One thing, an indictment gives much more leverage to the prosecution. Up to now he has given a little in interrogations, but they could really twist him up now. If so he may just turn out to be a real Rosetta Stone for future prosecutions.

Either way, I do find today's development 'curious'.

More updates to come as I look over the indictment.

Michelle Malkin has more and a little history of the case. Also Debbie Schlussel.


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