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Agent recounts Padilla calls

June 20, 2007|From the Associated Press

MIAMI — Jose Padilla was never overheard using purported code words for violent jihad in intercepted phone conversations and spoke often about his difficulties learning Arabic while studying in Egypt, the lead FBI agent in the case testified Tuesday.

A defense attorney questioned Agent James T. Kavanaugh about seven calls in which Padilla is heard talking about his marriage and his studies but never about Islamic extremism.

In February 1999, Padilla tells codefendant Adham Amin Hassoun that he is learning Arabic "better than before."

Later that year, Padilla tells Hassoun about his recent marriage: "First, I have to get settled with my marriage. Then I'm going to continue with my studies, and after that ... whatever Allah the almighty has open for us."

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