Padilla was first arrested in 2002 at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport for allegedly plotting a "dirty bomb" attack against the U.S. He was held as an "enemy combatant" in a military brig for over three years before he was moved into the federal court system, but was never charged with the "dirty bomb" plot.
The three judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, in a 2-1 decision, upheld Padilla's conviction but found that the sentence imposed by another federal judge was too lenient.
"The record shows that the government presented evidence that the defendants formed a support cell linked to radical Islamists worldwide and conspired to send money, recruits and equipment overseas to groups that the defendants knew used violence in their efforts to establish Islamic states," the majority ruled.
The sentencing judge, they said, "attached little weight to Padilla's extensive criminal history, gave no weight to his future dangerousness, compared him to criminals who were not similarly situated and gave unreasonable weight to the conditions of his pre-trial confinement."
Padilla could appeal to the full appeals court and potentially the Supreme Court. Read the full opinion here.