Padilla guilty of aiding terrorists

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The key piece of physical evidence was a five-page form Padilla supposedly filled out in July 2000 to attend an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, which would link the other two defendants as well to Osama bin Laden’s terrorist organization.

The form, recovered by the CIA in 2001 in Afghanistan, contained seven of Padilla’s fingerprints and several other personal identifiers, such as his birth date and his ability to speak Spanish, English and Arabic.

“He provided himself to al Qaeda for training to learn to murder, kidnap and maim,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Frazier said in closing arguments.

Padilla’s lawyers insisted the form was far from conclusive and denied that he was a “star recruit,” as prosecutors claimed. Padilla’s attorneys said he traveled to Egypt in September 1998 to learn Islam more deeply and become fluent in Arabic.

“His intent was to study, not to murder,” Padilla’s attorney Michael Caruso said.

Associated Press writers Sarah Larimer in Miami and Deb Reichmann in Crawford, Texas, contributed to this report.

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