[JURIST] US District Court Judge Marcia Cooke on Thursday upheld a previous district court ruling denying bail for alleged "dirty bomber" Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive], agreeing with federal prosecutors who say his history of skipping bail makes him a flight risk, and that he would pose a significant threat to the community if released. Padilla, whose trial is scheduled to begin in September, has family overseas and has visited them using fake aliases in the past.
Padilla was originally arrested in 2002 at the Chicago O'Hare airport on suspicion of planning to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" in the US, and was detained for 3 1/2 years as an "enemy combatant" without being charged. In November 2005, he was charged [PDF indictment, JURIST report] with conspiracy to murder US nationals, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists. The charges relate to an alleged North American terror cell designed to send money and recruits to support overseas terror operations and are unrelated to the "dirty bomb" allegations. Padilla had challenged his indefinite detention as an enemy combatant; his detention was affirmed by the Fourth Circuit [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] last September. That decision has been appealed to the US Supreme Court, but the Court has yet to decide whether to grant certiorari in the case. Reports have surfaced that evidence supporting the "dirty bomb" allegations was coerced through torture [JURIST report] leading the DOJ to charge Padilla on the separate charges. AP has more.