Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Case changes focus

Prosecutors have changed the focus of the trial from Jose Padilla to Kifah Wael Jayyousi. Here's the AP report on how it started:

A Muslim convert testified Tuesday that he grew suspicious and distanced himself from the leader of an Islamic charity after an associate returned from war-torn Chechnya with part of a leg missing from a land mine explosion.
Jeremy Collins, 33, said he worked at American Worldwide Relief that was headed by Kifah Wael Jayyousi, who is on trial along with alleged al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla and an another man on charges of contributing to Muslim extremist causes worldwide. All three face life in prison if convicted.
“It was just chaos. There was no relief work,” Collins said he learned from his associate. “There seemed to be more fighting than relief work.”

Collins’ testimony focuses on Jayyousi’s years in San Diego, well before Padilla, a U.S. citizen held for 3½ years as an enemy combatant, came on the scene.
Questions about the organization also were raised when the group’s $20,000 satellite telephone was shut down in early 1996 at the request of the Russian government, said Collins, who was the organization’s then-vice president.

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