News / USA

Bin Laden's Son-in-Law Convicted in US Terrorism Case

US Jury Convicts Bin Laden Son-in-Law on Terror Chargesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
March 27, 2014 12:24 AM
A jury in New York has convicted a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden on terrorism charges for his role as al-Qaida's passionate spokesman. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.

US Jury Convicts Bin Laden Son-in-Law on Terror Charges

Carolyn Weaver
— A federal jury in New York has convicted Kuwaiti-born imam Sulaiman Abu Ghaith on terrorism charges for his role as an al-Qaida spokesman. 
 
The jury of nine women and three men found Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, guilty of providing material support to al-Qaida and conspiring to kill Americans. He is the highest-ranking aide to bin Laden to be tried in a U.S. civilian court.
  
Prosecutors screened video of Abu Ghaith sitting next to bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders the day after the September 11, 2001 attacks.  In another video, from October 2001, Abu Ghaith threatened that the "storm" of airplanes against Britain and the U.S. would not stop.
 
Last week, Abu Ghaith unexpectedly took the stand in his own defense, denying that he recruited for al-Qaida or knew of terrorism plots in advance. Speaking through an Arabic interpreter, he said his role was a religious one of inspiring Muslims to throw off oppressors. 
 
He told of how he first went to Afghanistan in June 2001 after being invited by Osama bin Laden, who had heard of his preachings in Kuwait. He said he learned of the September 11 attacks the day after, when bin Laden summoned him to a meeting. 
 
Jurors were not told that he has been married to bin Laden's eldest daughter Fatima since 2008 or 2009.
 
Following the verdict, Abu Ghaith's lead defense attorney, Stanley Cohen, said he would appeal and that the judge erred in not allowing testimony by Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the so-called mastermind of the September 11 attacks. He said Sheik Mohammed would have testified, as he did in a deposition released to the public, that Abu Ghaith had no role in plotting terror.
 
"There's evidence this jury should have heard and could not hear, there's witnesses they should have access to and could not,” he told reporters outside the courthouse. The case, he said, was about words and associations, not deeds.

“He was speaking as an imam on behalf of the Muslim nation, and did not belong to al-Qaida, did not support al-Qaida, knew nothing about, as the government conceded, any of these events,” said Cohen.
 
Karen Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University, said the trial showed that U.S. civilian courts are well-equipped to handle terrorism cases.
 
"Terrorism cases fall between issues of war and issues of crime. There's no getting around that, and the challenges are somewhat different than in normal criminal justice cases,” she said. “The law has evolved since 9/11 to handle that, and the procedures and the law are able to handle these cases and this case shows that."
 
U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement that it was “appropriate that this defendant, who publicly rejoiced over the attacks on the World Trade Center, faced trial in the shadow of where those buildings once stood.”
 
The 48-year-old Abu Ghaith faces a possible life term in prison when he is sentenced in September.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid