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Obama Officials Wrong on Padilla

Al Qaeda terrorist Jose Padilla started talking only after he was designated an enemy combatant.

8:35 PM, Feb 11, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
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[Padilla]'s unwillingness to cooperate with authorities was the primary factor in his transfer to military custody, the officials said. One official said [Padilla] repeatedly resisted the efforts of FBI agents and representatives of the U.S. attorney's office to interview him, both through his lawyer and at least once in a face-to-face meeting inside the MCC.

Padilla would ultimately talk. But, contrary to Gibbs and Brennan, it wasn’t until he was placed in the military’s custody--not when he was returned to the civilian court system.

On June 1, 2004, the Defense Department released a memo summarizing what was known about Padilla both before and after he was transferred into the military’s custody. The second page of the memo contains two paragraphs concerning what authorities had learned about Padilla up until June 9, 2002, the day he was transferred into the military’s custody. As the aforementioned press accounts make clear, authorities had garnered no information from Padilla himself. The DoD cited “intelligence information” and “our information” but no admissions by Padilla. Nearly all of the information on Padilla up until that point came from other al Qaeda detainees and sources.

The memo then reads: “Since that time [June 9, 2002], additional and more detailed intelligence information about Jose Padilla has been developed and made available in unclassified form.”

That additional information includes several pages of unclassified intelligence, including a number of admissions by Padilla, which were corroborated by other detainees.

Here are just some of the admissions Padilla made while in military custody:


Padilla has admitted that he attended the al Qaeda-affiliated al Farouq training camp in Afghanistan in September-October 2000 under the name Abdullah Al-Espani. …

Padilla also admits that he first met al Qaeda military commander Abu Hafs al-Masri, aka Mohammed Atef (“Atef”), in Afghanistan when Atef approached him in the al Farouq camp and asked him about his commitment to Islam. Padilla believes this high-ranking al Qaeda member began the process of evaluating his commitment and suitability for al Qaeda operations. …

Padilla made his second trip to Afghanistan approximately two months later, entering Pakistan on June 11, 2001. …Padilla admits he was first tasked with an operation to blow up apartment buildings in the United States with natural gas by Atef about one month later, at a meeting in Qandahar in July or August 2001. Padilla accepted the tasking. …

Padilla admits he stayed at a number of safe houses in and around Qandahar with Atef in September 2001 and after the September 2001 attacks on the United States, including the safe house at which Atef was killed by U.S. military bombing in mid-November 2001. [footnote omitted] Padilla, who was with the Explosives Expert at his safe house when Atef’s safe house was bombed, admits he returned to help dig Atef’s body out of the rubble. …

According to Padilla, he first met KSM in Karachi, Pakistan after Abu Zubaydah sent Padilla and his Accomplice [Weekly Standard’s Note: The accomplice is Binyam Mohamed] there in March 2002 to present the nuclear/dirty bomb operation. After being taken to a safe house by Ammar al-Baluchi, Padilla presented the idea to KSM, who advised that the idea was a little too complicated and that he wanted Padilla to resurrect the apartment building operation originally discussed with Atef. KSM wanted Padilla to hit targets in New York City, although Florida and Washington, D.C. were discussed as well. Padilla had discretion in the selection of the apartments. Padilla now admits that he accepted the mission. …

Again, these are just some of the admissions that Padilla made while in the military’s custody. There are more unclassified admissions as well as undoubtedly some that still remain classified.

During his initial interview with the FBI, Padilla wouldn’t even admit that he traveled into Afghanistan. Once in the military’s custody, Padilla admitted that he conspired with some of the most senior al Qaeda operatives of all-time to attack the American homeland after 9/11 from Afghan and Pakistani soil.

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