- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 15, 2007

MIAMI — Federal prosecutors yesterday called on a disguised CIA operative to testify that he received documents from an informant in Afghanistan that link U.S.-born terrorism suspect Jose Padilla to Islamic extremists.

Referring to himself by the pseudonym Tom Langston, the CIA agent recounted how he received numerous cartons of documents, photos and other material from an Afghan man in the southern city of Kandahar in December 2001.

Mr. Langston, who sported what appeared to be a fake beard, said the Afghan informant — who provided the CIA with 22 containers of evidence — was a member of an Afghan tribe that opposed the former Taliban regime.

Among the items Mr. Langston purportedly received from the Afghan man was a bright blue binder — which the prosecution produced as evidence — that reportedly contains numerous dossiers written in Arabic about terrorist suspects, including Mr. Padilla.

The prosecution is attempting to link Mr. Padilla to extremist groups in Afghanistan, most notably al Qaeda, in an effort to convict the 36-year-old and two co-defendants, Adham Amin Hassoun, 45, and Kifah Wael Jayyousi, 44, on charges they conspired to aid terrorist groups worldwide and provided them with monetary and material support.

The document containing information about Mr. Padilla, who prosecutors say traveled to Afghanistan in hopes of joining a terrorist training camp, was said to have the suspect’s fingerprint on it.

Mr. Langston appeared uneasy about answering a question from defense attorney Orlando do Campo about how CIA operatives in Afghanistan handle documents such as the ones provided by the Afghan informant.

“I’m a little uncomfortable answering the question because it gets into methods. I’m sworn to protect sources and methods,” he said, referring to the blue binder he handled with gloved hands in court.

Earlier yesterday, jurors heard from FBI legal attache Jennifer Keenan, who in late 2001 was stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Miss Keenan said she remembered the blue binder and its contents, and that it contained a “pledge form” Mr. Padilla purportedly signed with his Arabic name, Abu Abdullah al-Mujahir.

Mr. Padilla was arrested in 2002 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. Shortly thereafter, he 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. However, those confessions have been ruled inadmissible as evidence because he had not been read his Miranda rights and did not had legal counsel present at the time.

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