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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More