Feds: Padilla May Have Been High-Ranking Al Qaeda Member

posted at 1:51 pm on May 26, 2006 by Bryan

The Feds portrayed Jose Padilla–arrested at Chicago O’Hare Airport in 2002 on a tip from captured al Qaeda terrorist Abu Zubaydah–as a low-ranking advance man. It later came out that he was here to plan two different attacks, one involving a dirty bomb and a second in which he was to rent apartments around Chicago and use their gas lines to blow them up. Now it turns out he may have been more than an advance man:

Jose Padilla was not just a Chicago street gang stooge as some in law enforcement portrayed him at the time of his arrest. Federal authorities say evidence now shows that Padilla had had risen in Al Qaeda’s ranks to have personal relationships with the top planners of the September 11th attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

Padilla has told authorities that his direct Al Qaeda supervisor was Ammar al-Baluchi who obtained flight simulators that the 9/11 hijackers used in training. According to Padilla, Baluchi was the right-hand man of Khalid Sheihk Mohammed—considered the architect of the 9/11 attacks.

In documents filed during the recent death penalty hearing for Al Qaeda terrorist Zacharias Moussaoui, Moussaoui described Baluci as a “key travel and financial facilitator for the Sept. 11 hijackers.”

Padilla’s connection to Al Qaeda provided his marching orders as well. Federal agents say Padilla has told them that Baluchi gave him $10,000 cash before flying from the Middle East to O’Hare, provided travel documents, gave him a U.S. cell phone and an email address to notify Al Qaeda operatives of his arrival in Chicago.

But authorities say Padilla’s connection to the upper crust of Al Qaeda is best found in his activities with three of the organization’s top terrorists. The night before leaving for Chicago they threw him a bon voyage dinner — hosted by the men considered to be the 9/11 masterminds.

Padilla was once dubbed an enemy combatant and thrown in a military brig. But he has since been transferred for trial in civilian courts and is in federal lock-up in Miami.

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NTWR on May 26, 2006 at 2:16 PM

Thank God our intellegince DOES work.

Vincenzo on May 26, 2006 at 2:19 PM

I trust you’re being sarcastic, NTWR.

dman on May 26, 2006 at 2:22 PM

LOL! Yeah, I’m sure NTWR is being sarcastic. I am a big fan of the sarcastic web site “Blame Bush! Becasue Bush is to Blame for Everything” so I get a kick out of those sorts of statements.


EFG on May 26, 2006 at 2:39 PM

Harry Truman said, “The buck stops here!”

George Bush says, “The buck stops THERE!”

As President, George Bush is absolutely to blame “for everything.” His intransigency, stubborness, and absolute refusal to admit errors has brought us to where we are today.

The “Mexican problem” is but the tip of the proverbial iceberg. George Bush, and of course “republicans” like John McCain are why liberals will likely take over Congress and probably the White House. Then we will REALLY be in serious trouble!

ForYourEdification on May 26, 2006 at 2:54 PM

I like something I heard an Iraqi say after Saddam was found in the hole: “Yes, we will give him a fair trial..and then we will hang him!”..same thing should go for Padilla.

labwrs on May 26, 2006 at 4:05 PM


You wish!
I’m pretty sure this guy is being sarcastic, but at this time the FBI is investigating Latino organizations that qualify as terrorists, be it the Mara Salvatruchas (MS-13) or the Macheteros (Machete-wielders) in Puerto Rico (which also call themselves The Puerto Rican People’s Army). These are groups composed of latinos entirely.

I hope our law-enforcement keeps checking on all these organizations, because as they say, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” You don’t know what would happen if they get together.

batperez on May 26, 2006 at 4:45 PM

I actually visited the Taco Bell in Davie FL where Jose Padilla used to work. It’s over at the Tower Shops right off of I-95 on University for all you South Floridians. After Padilla was arrested, I read on the Web that Padilla used to work there. Of course, NOBODY

pjcomix on May 26, 2006 at 5:13 PM

Oops. I didn’t finish the sentence before. Anyway, nobody at the Taco Bell knew Padilla personally because of the fast fast food turnover rate.

pjcomix on May 26, 2006 at 5:14 PM

Yep, sarcasm.
MS 13 is all the way up to Humboldt, Kali, where they make tons of money growing dope.
Savage had a link about how gang members are joining the military to fight in Iraq and learn urban warfare. I hope when they come back they don’t use it against their own countrymen.

NTWR on May 26, 2006 at 5:34 PM


With all that’s been going on this week, I had to ask!!

dman on May 26, 2006 at 7:16 PM

I don’t blame you…

it’s like we’re in some strange parallel universe…

NTWR on May 26, 2006 at 7:37 PM

..but it’s all too real. What kind of life are our children going to have? They are the ones being cheated.

dman on May 27, 2006 at 12:24 AM

Why are they referring to padeeeya in the past tense? Have we injected him yet? Is he dead? Oh right, I forgot, we don’t do that, we don’t kill terrorists in this country ’cause we don’t wanna hurt their feelings. Thank God (and Dubya) that we DO kill the &@+#ers over there in THEIR countries!

Remember: EVERY day is Memorial Day.

Tony737 on May 28, 2006 at 8:54 AM

I’d take anything Zacharias Moussaoui says with a grain of salt. Once he got stuck with a life sentence, he proclaimed his innocence. He is either lying now, or was lying when he claimed to be highly involved with 9/11 planning. Either way, he’s a liar.

Mark Jaquith on May 29, 2006 at 12:23 PM