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US hits bin Laden's son-in-law with new conspiracy charges

Published time: December 24, 2013 21:24
Edited time: December 25, 2013 04:27
Al-Qaeda spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith (Reuters)

Al-Qaeda spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith (Reuters)

Osama bin Laden's son-in-law is facing two new conspiracy charges in his impending trial, as US prosecutors have reportedly linked him to the 2001 Al-Qaeda shoe bomber plot.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, 48, who formerly served as a spokesman for Al-Qaeda and was arrested in February, was originally charged with one count of conspiracy to kill Americans. A superseding indictment unsealed on Friday, however, added two new charges: conspiracy to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and providing material support and resources to terrorists.

Abu Ghaith pleaded not guilty to all charges on Monday. His attorney, Stanley Cohen, requested a 60-day delay in the trial, currently scheduled for February 3, so he could prepare for the new charges. The defense has also denied that Abu Ghaith was an Al-Qaeda spokesperson.

According to AFP, US lawyers tied Abu Ghaith to British Al-Qaeda member Richard Reid’s plot to blow up an airplane with bombs located in his shoes. Reid is currently serving a life sentence for his actions, and the prosecution argued that a 2001-era video indicated that Abu Ghaith was aware of the plot.

The US accuses Abu Ghaith of appearing in the video with bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, and warning Americans that the “storms shall not stop, especially the airplanes storm.” He allegedly told the “nation of Islam to do battle against the Jews, the Christians and the Americans.”

The most recent indictment also claims that Abu Ghaith gave a speech in early 2002, in which he labeled the World Trade Center attacks a “victory,” and declared that Al-Qaeda was determining which targets to strike next, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“We shall be launching terrorist attacks on America...at a time, place and a method of our choosing,” he allegedly said.

Earlier this year, the defense tried to prohibit statements made by Abu Ghaith during his interrogation by FBI agents from being presented as evidence, claiming he was tortured. It has also argued that the defendant is being charged and labeled as guilty for his “mere association” with bin Laden.

Additionally, Judge Lewis Kaplan approved a request by the US government to keep the jury anonymous, even during the selection process. Due to the likelihood that Abu Ghaith will issue threats against the United States, “reasonable jurors could of course fear for their safety,” said Assistant US Attorney Michael Ferrara, according to a court document. “Fear is at odds with impartiality.”

This trial marks the first time that a terror suspect associated with the September 11 attacks is being tried in an American civilian court.

Comments (16)

 

Douglas Dewar 27.12.2013 10:01

The HUGE story here is that an american court is going ahead with a trial of a prisoner who may well have been tortured. If the rule of law exists at all in the usa the court must determine if the claimed torture occured, and if so all charges must be dropped, and criminal charges must be brought against the torturers. If they can torture him with impunity they can do the same to me and you.

 

Samuel von Staunton 26.12.2013 16:44

Kader Benkada 25.12.2013 22:52

Christianity it's secend evil riligion after Talmud it's all about murder invading other country droning ppl in their own country killing man woman & c. . .this time gonna be no mercy the muslim gonna treat u the way I rest them & wen u defend ur self they gonna call U terrorist

  


Is lam is also an Abrahamic faith, just like Christianity and Judaism, with similar teachings. Your exhortation to continue and expand the participation by Muslims in a brutal circle of violence by the three sects of followers of the upstart mountain god YHWH is indicative.

 

Tessa 26.12.2013 15:11

Demands for the release of 9-11 fairytale information and the Snowden leaks have the cockroaches and the media they control struggling to maintain their grip. It will not work. The masses are waking up to this Orwellian nightmare they have been in. I am going to stock up on BBQ sauce so when the elite are burned at the stake. They are bitter to swallow without sauce. Then lets see how they feel about this "let them eat cake " attitude.

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