The federal terrorism case against accused “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla, announced with a huge media flourish in 2002, has slowly dwindled over the years, the Miami Herald reports.
When Padilla was first arrested, then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft claimed he was an al Qaeda operative who planned to blow up a radioactive ”dirty bomb” in the United States. The Bush administration held him in a military prison for more than three years.
But the charges eventually filed against Padilla have nothing to do with a “dirty bomb,” and the main one has been dismissed by a federal judge, throwing the rest of the government’s case into doubt. Carl Tobias, a constitutional scholar at the University of Richmond School of Law in Virginia who has followed Padilla’s legal odyssey, said his prosecution “falls into the category of terror cases that are overstated and don’t deliver on what they promised.”