MIAMI (AP) -- Opening statements are scheduled Monday in the federal trial of alleged al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla and two co-defendants.
Padilla, a former Chicago gang member and Muslim convert, has been in federal custody since his May 2002 arrest at O'Hare International Airport.
The 36-year old Padilla was initially accused of plotting to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" inside the U.S., but those allegations are not part of the case being tried in Miami. Instead, Padilla and his co-defendants are accused of being part of a North American support cell for Islamic extremists in Bosnia, Chechnya, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world.
The judge refused to grant them separate trials, ruling that the government had ample evidence they were connected in a conspiracy.