Jan 22 (Reuters) - Jose Padilla, a Chicago gang member once accused by the Bush administration of plotting a radioactive bomb attack, was sentenced by a U.S. court on Tuesday to 17 years and four months in prison for supporting terrorism.
Here are some facts about Padilla:
* A U.S. jury in Miami on Aug. 16, 2007, convicted Padilla on all three charges in a case that has been a centerpiece of Bush administration efforts to battle terrorism. Jurors found Padilla guilty of conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim persons abroad, conspiracy to provide material support for terrorism, and providing material support for terrorism.
* Padilla faced a possible life prison term, as did two co-defendants convicted alongside him.
* Padilla, 37, was held without charge in a military prison for 3 1/2 years by order of President George W. Bush before being added to the terrorism-support case against co-defendants Adham Hassoun and Kifah Jayyousi.
* Padilla's lawyers argued that years of extreme isolation and interrogation by the U.S. military had left him too mentally impaired to help his lawyers defend him in court. But a U.S. judge ruled Padilla was mentally competent to stand trial, saying, "This defendant clearly has the capacity to assist his attorneys."
* Padilla has been in federal custody since May 2002, when he was arrested in Chicago on his return from Egypt.
* Bush ordered Padilla held in a military prison and the administration accused him of plotting to set off a radioactive "dirty bomb" in the United States. Padilla was never charged with that. While a challenge to Bush's authority to hold him without charge was pending in the U.S. Supreme Court, Padilla was indicted in Florida and transferred to civilian custody last year.
* Prosecutors said Hassoun recruited Padilla at a Florida mosque and sent him to an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan to train as a killer. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Frazier called Padilla their "star recruit." (Writing by Paul Grant, Washington Editorial Reference Unit)
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