Padilla defense rests, calling no witnesses

After Mr. Padilla was arrested in 2002 at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Attorney General John Ashcroft said federal law-enforcement officials had thwarted an al Qaeda plot involving Mr. Padilla to detonate a “dirty bomb” on U.S. soil and blow up several apartment buildings in major American cities.

Mr. Padilla was said to have admitted to federal officials during initial interrogations in a military prison his involvement in a “dirty bomb” scheme and to training with al Qaeda.

Those confessions were eventually ruled inadmissible as evidence because the defendant had not been read his Miranda rights, nor did he have legal counsel present at the time.

Charges were never officially filed against Mr. Padilla during his incarceration in a Navy brig in South Carolina after a failure to gather enough usable evidence against him. The Bush administration in November 2005 then linked Mr. Padilla to the ongoing case in Miami.

Federal prosecutors are expected to begin their closing arguments on Monday.

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