Bin Laden son-in-law guilty on terror charges

 

Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law was convicted Wednesday of conspiring to kill Americans in his role in as al Qaeda’s spokesman.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who appeared in al Qaeda propaganda videos after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was found guilty after five hours of jury deliberation, according to The Associated Press.

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Abu Ghaith is the highest-ranking al Qaeda member to face trial in a U.S. civilian court.

At his trial held in New York, Abu Ghaith was shown in videos sitting next to bin Laden and other top al Qaeda leaders on Sept. 12, 2001, as well as a video in which he was recruiting new members for suicide missions.

"The storm of airplanes will not stop," Abu Ghaith was heard saying in an October 2001 video, according to the AP.

Abu Ghaith was found guilty on three charges — conspiring to kill Americans, conspiring to provide support to al Qaeda and providing support to al Qaeda — and he faces life in prison. He will be sentenced on Sept. 8.

Abu Ghaith was captured last year in Jordan and brought into the civilian federal court system — a decision that some Republicans, who wanted him tried in a military tribunal as an enemy combatant,  criticized.

At the trial, Abu Ghaith took the witness stand and denied he was an al Qaeda recruiter. He said he was with bin Laden in a cave on the night of Sept. 11 out of respect for bin Laden’s position as a sheik, and that his role was only a religious one to encourage Muslims to rise up against their oppressors.

"Despite knowing that he was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, you met with him to be polite, correct?" prosecutor Michael Ferrara asked on cross-examination, according to the AP.

"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.