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US not charging Padilla on "dirty bomb" because of torture evidence: NYT

[JURIST] Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive], a US citizen charged with planning to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" in the US, will not face those charges because US officials obtained evidence against him using torture on two al-Qaida members, according to a New York Times report. The Times Thursday quoted unnamed current and former government officials as saying that the main evidence of Padilla's involvement in bombing plots came from two captured al-Qaida leaders, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [Wikipedia], and Abu Zubaydah [BBC profile], but neither could be used as witnesses because each has been subjected to harsh questioning and possibly torture to extract evidence (including in Mohammed's case, "excessive use of a technique involving near drowning" in the first months after his capture). US officials fear that the men's testimony could expose CIA methods of investigation which have become contentious during the US "war on terror". The Bush administration has used Padilla as an example of the continued threat al-Qaida poses to the US [White house discussion]. Prior to his indictment [JURIST report] earlier this week, Padilla has been in custody for over three years at a military prison in North Carolina as an uncharged "enemy combatant". The Guardian has more.

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