News / USA

Bin Laden Son-in-law's Trial Begins in New York

In this courtroom sketch, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, left, listens as U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan stands to speak, March 3, 2014, during jury selection at the start of Abu Ghaith's trial in New York.
In this courtroom sketch, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, left, listens as U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan stands to speak, March 3, 2014, during jury selection at the start of Abu Ghaith's trial in New York.
Reuters
Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, went on trial in New York on Monday, becoming one of the highest-profile defendants to face terrorism charges in the United States.
 
Prosecutors have accused the Kuwaiti-born Abu Ghaith, 48, of recording videos in Afghanistan on behalf of al-Qaida immediately following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, threatening further violence against Americans.
 
Defense lawyers argue that the government cannot prove that Abu Ghaith had any involvement in or knowledge of plots to kill U.S. citizens.
 
Jury selection began on Monday and should be completed by Wednesday, with opening statements from both sides expected to take place later that day or soon after. The trial is expected to last around a month.
 
The bearded Abu Ghaith, who could receive life in prison if convicted, sat quietly during the morning, wearing a beige suit and listening to an interpreter translate the proceedings into Arabic.
 
Nearly 50 prospective jurors gathered in a Manhattan courtroom, where the newly constructed One World Trade Center was visible through one of the windows.
 
As in several other terrorism trials in the United States, the jury will remain anonymous. During questioning from U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, potential jurors were asked to refrain from revealing any identifying information, such as their names or employers.
 
Kaplan asked a series of questions about al-Qaida, potential witnesses and other issues, seeking to determine whether any of them had biases that would affect their ability to remain impartial.
 
The prospective jurors had already provided answers to written questions before arriving at court on Monday, including whether they had strong feelings about terrorism that would make it hard for them to be fair.
 
In the afternoon, one candidate, a 56-year-old lawyer, said he had represented several detainees at the U.S. prison for terrorism suspects in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and was concerned he would not be able to put those experiences out of his mind when assessing the credibility of any potential witnesses from Guantanamo.
 
Another potential juror, a 57-year-old man, said he had known someone who was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks and that he was not sure whether he could remain impartial.
 
The jury pool members ranged in age from 27 to 76 and included teachers, writers, a chef and a nurse.
 
Abu Ghaith faces charges of conspiring to kill Americans, providing material support and resources to terrorists and conspiring to provide such support.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid