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the mobbs declaration on padilla

Declaration of Michael H. Mobbs
Special Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

Padilla v. Bush, No. 02 Civ. 4445 (S.D.N.Y.)

Declaration of Michael H. Mobbs
Special Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

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Click here to see a partial copy of this memo

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, I, Michael H. Mobbs, Special Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, hereby declare that, to the best of my knowledge, information and belief, and under the penalty of perjury, the following is true and correct:

1. I am a government employee (GS-15) of the U.S. Department of Defense and serve as a Special Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. He is the principal staff assistant and advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense for all matters concerning the formulation of national security and defense policy and the integration and oversight of DoD policy and plans to achieve national security objectives. The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy has directed me to head his Detainee Policy Group. Since mid-February 2002, I have been substantially involved with matters related to the detention of enemy combatants in the current war against the Al Qaeda terrorists and those who support and harbor them (including the Taliban).

2. As part of my official duties, I have reviewed government records and reports about Jose Padilla (also known as "Abdullah al Muhajir" and "Ibrahim Padilla") relevant to the President's June 9, 2002 determination that Padilla is an enemy combatant and the President's order that Padilla be detained by U.S. military forces as an enemy combatant.

3. The following information about Padilla's activities with the Al Qaeda terrorist network was provided to the President in connection with his June 9, 2002 determination. This information is derived from multiple intelligence sources, including reports of interviews with several confidential sources, two of whom were detained at locations outside of the United States. The confidential sources have direct connections with the Al Qaeda terrorist network and claim to have knowledge of the events described. Certain aspects of these reports were also corroborated by other intelligence information when available.

4. Padilla was born in New York. He was convicted of murder in Chicago in approximately 1983 and incarcerated until his eighteenth birthday. In Florida in 1991, he was convicted of a handgun charge and sent to prison. After his release from prison, Padilla began referring to himself as Ibrahim Padilla. In 1998, he moved to Egypt and was subsequently known as Abdullah Al Muhajir. In 1999 or 2000 Padilla traveled to Pakistan. He also traveled to Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.

5. During his time in the Middle East and Southwest Asia, Padilla has been closely associated with known members and leaders of the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

6. While in Afghanistan in 2001, Padilla met with senior Usama Bin Laden lieutenant Abu Zubaydah. Padilla and an associate approached Zubaydah with their proposal to conduct terrorist operations within the United States. Zubaydah directed Padilla and his associate to travel to Pakistan for training from Al Qaeda operatives in wiring explosives.

7. Padilla and his associate conducted research in the construction of a "uranium-enhanced" explosive device. In particular, they engaged in research on this topic at one of the Al Qaeda safehouses in Lahore, Pakistan.

8. Padilla's discussions with Zubaydah specifically included the plan of Padilla and his associate to build and detonate a "radiological dispersal device" (also known as a "dirty bomb") within the United States, possibly in Washington, DC. The plan included stealing radioactive material for the bomb within the United States. The "dirty bomb" plan of Padilla and his associate allegedly was still in the initial planning stages, and there was no specific time set for the operation to occur.

9. In 2002, at Zubaydah's direction, Padilla traveled to Karachi, Pakistan to meet with senior Al Qaeda operative to discuss Padilla's involvement and participation in terrorist operations targeting the United States. These discussions included the noted "dirty bomb" plan and other operations including the detonation of explosives in hotel rooms and gas stations. The Al Qaeda officials held several meetings with Padilla. It is believed that Al Qaeda members directed Padilla to return to the United States to conduct reconnaissance and/or other attacks on behalf of Al Qaeda.

10. Although one confidential source stated that he did not believe that Padilla was a "member" of Al Qaeda, Padilla has had significant and extended contacts with senior Al Qaeda members and operatives. As noted, he acted under the direction of Zubaydah and other senior Al Qaeda operatives, received training from Al Qaeda operatives in furtherance of terrorist activities, and was sent to the United States to conduct reconnaissance and/or other attacks on their behalf.

11. Padilla traveled from Pakistan to Chicago via Switzerland and was apprehended by federal officials on May 8, 2002, upon arrival in the United States. Pursuant to court order, Padilla was held by the U.S. Marshals Service as a material witness in a grand jury investigation.

12. On June 9, 2002, George W. Bush, as President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the U.S. armed forces, determined that Jose Padilla is, and was at the time he entered the United States in May 2002, an enemy combatant in the ongoing war against international terrorism, including the Al Qaeda international terrorist organization. A redacted version of the President's determination is attached at Tab 1.

13. The President specifically determined that Padilla engaged in conduct that constituted hostile and war-like acts, including conduct in preparation for acts of international terrorism that had the aim to cause injury to or adverse effects on the United States.

14. The President further determined that Padilla posed a continuing, present and grave danger to the national security of the United States, and that detention of Padilla as an enemy combatant was necessary to prevent him from aiding Al Qaeda in its efforts to attack the United States or its armed forces, other governmental personnel, or citizens.

15. On June 9, 2002, the President directed the Secretary of Defense to detain Padilla as an enemy combatant.

16. On June 9, 2002, acting on the President's direction, the Secretary of Defense ordered the U.S. armed forces to take control of Padilla as an enemy combatant and to hold him at the Naval Consolidated Brig, Charleston, South Carolina.

Special Advisor to the
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

Dated: 27 August 2002

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posted october 16, 2003

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