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Interrogation Video Still Missing

POSTED: 03:37 PM ET, 06/11/2008 by Derek Kravitz

A DVD showing the final interrogation of Jose Padilla, the former Chicago gang member originally accused of plotting with al-Qaeda to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" on U.S. soil, is missing and cannot be found among federal records.

The March 2, 2004, Defense Intelligence Agency video showed the interrogation of Padilla, then deemed an "enemy combatant," at the U.S. Navy brig in Charleston, S.C. The missing video was referenced in a Miami hearing last year and first reported by Newsweek.

Federal officials outlined their attempts to find the missing DVD in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists in Washington.

Officials have acknowledged transcribing recordings of interrogations before the recordings themselves were destroyed. It is unclear whether the Padilla DVD was destroyed.

Padilla was sentenced in January to 17 years in prison on less dramatic charges.

The ruling marked a major setback in terrorism prosecutions for the Justice Department, which had urged U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke to sentence 37-year-old Padilla to life in prison.

Cooke implicitly criticized the government's treatment of Padilla during the time it held him without charges.

By Derek Kravitz |  June 11, 2008; 3:37 PM ET
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