Bin Laden Son-In-Law Convicted Of Conspiring To Kill Americans, May Spend The Rest Of His Life In Prison
On Wednesday, Suleiman Abu Ghaith, son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, was convicted of conspiring to kill Americans. Abu Ghaith could now face life in prison, having been convicted of charges that included providing material support to terrorists. He's the highest-ranking member of the terrorist group to face trial on U.S. soil.
During the three-week trial, the Kuwaiti imam said he agreed to bin Laden's request to take part in the videos recruiting new al-Qaeda members after 9/11. In the tapes, Abu Ghaith commended the attacks and indicated there would be more to follow. Prosecuting attorney Preet Bharara called him "more than just Osama bin Laden's propaganda minister," stating that Abu Ghaith contributed to al-Qaeda's efforts of murdering Americans.
The defendant, who was captured in Jordan last year and taken to New York for trial, took the witness stand last week and defended his actions by saying he was simply delivering the message. He claims he met with bin Laden in a cave after the attacks, where he was told, "Did you learn what happened? We are the ones who did it."
"I didn't go to meet with him to bless if he had killed hundreds of Americans or not. I went to meet with him to know what he wanted," Abu Ghaith said.
During closing arguments on Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Cronan called him "principal messenger... [who] used his fiery oratory to incite al-Qaeda's growing army of terror in this war with America."
Abu Ghaith said he'd been in Afghanistan giving religious lectures to training camps in the months before the 9/11 attacks. His lawyer, Stanley L. Cohen, argued that his involvement merely showcased his fulfillment of responsibilities as an imam.
Cohen has promised to appeal the conviction, and Abu Ghaith's sentencing is set for Sept. 8.