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Prosecution Rests Its Case Against Padilla

Federal prosecutors rested their case Friday against Jose Padilla and two co-defendants charged with participating in an al Qaeda support cell.

The jury has listened to nearly nine weeks of testimony from 22 witnesses and tapes of dozens of FBI wiretaps collected during an investigation that lasted years.

Defense lawyers for Padilla, Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi will begin their case next week, with the trial likely to continue into August.

Padilla, a 36-year-old U.S. citizen, was originally accused of plotting with al Qaeda to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb." He was arrested in May 2002 at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and held for 3½ years as an enemy combatant before he was transferred to the Miami terror support case. The Miami case does not mention the "dirty bomb" allegations.

The indictment charges that Padilla filled out a "mujahedeen data form" to attend an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan after he was recruited by Hassoun at mosque in suburban Sunrise. All three face life in prison if convicted on all charges, including providing material support to terrorists and conspiring to kill, maim and kidnap people overseas.

The final prosecution witness Friday was FBI linguist Joyce Kandalaft, who testified that Hassoun's name and telephone number were on a card containing various names and numbers that Padilla was carrying when he was arrested.

She also testified about notations in Arabic made on checks written by Hassoun to Muslim charities and other entities that included the word "tourism." The government contends the word was code for violent jihad. The notations also frequently mentioned support for "brothers."

"Have you ever known the word brother to mean mujahedeen brother?" asked Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell Killinger.

"Yes, I have," Kandalaft replied.

Kandalaft also testified that Hassoun had included a verse from the Quran on one check that translates to: "And those who do wrong should soon come to know what punishment awaits them."

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