Fingerprint Expert Witness Testifies Re: Terrorism Suspect

Former FBI fingerprint expert witness testified that terrorism suspect Jose Padilla’s fingerprints match at least seven of 45 latent prints found on an alleged application for Al Qaeda holy war training.

Padilla and his two codefendants are charged with conspiracy to kill, kidnap or maim people abroad and with providing material support to terrorists. Padilla was accused after his May 2002 arrest of plotting to set off a radioactive “dirty bomb” in a U.S. city. But Padilla’s public defenders cast doubt on the validity of both the prints and the so-called mujahedeen data form, a cornerstone of the government’s case. The form has been described by other expert witnesses as a “pledge” to fight on behalf of beleaguered Muslims abroad.

Padilla’s questioned the thoroughness of the evaluation, asking expert witness Morgan why he hadn’t sought a broader set of the defendant’s prints, according to the