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Feds arrest man linked to 'dirty bomb' suspect

Feds arrest man linked to 'dirty bomb' suspect

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Federal officials in Miami told CNN Saturday they had arrested a south Florida Muslim activist with ties to "dirty bomb" suspect Jose Padilla.

Adham Amin Hassoun was arrested after a Wednesday night traffic stop by members of the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force, according to FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela and Immigration and Naturalization Service spokesman Rodney Germain.

The task force coordinates activities between local, state and federal law enforcement officials.

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Hassoun, 40, is being held without bond at the Krome Avenue Detention Facility near Miami on an immigration violation charge.

A federal law enforcement source said Hassoun was charged with overstaying his visa, and that officials hope he will shed light on how Padilla, raised in Chicago by Puerto Rican parents, became someone the government characterizes as a Muslim extremist.

Padilla, also known as Abdullah Al Muhajir, is accused of being part of a plot to build and set off a dirty bomb -- a conventional bomb laced with radioactive material.

He is in Justice Department custody at a Navy brig in South Carolina, held as an "enemy combatant."

Hassoun and Padilla attended the same mosque, Masjid Al-Iman in Fort Lauderdale, for most of the 1990s and were reportedly friends.

An immigration hearing is expected to be held in Miami next week, when additional evidence may be presented to shed more light on what Hassoun may know about Padilla's alleged terrorist connections.

Officials also said Hassoun was listed as the Florida registered agent for Benevolence International Foundation, but left the organization when it moved to Chicago shortly after its inception.

Benevolence International Organization is charged with financing Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network.

-- CNN Correspondents Susan Candiotti and Mark Potter contributed to this report.




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