A jury in federal court found Sulaiman Abu Ghaith guilty a day after beginning deliberations. Ghaith, 48, a native of Kuwait, faces life in prison when he is sentenced.
During the three-week trial, Abu Ghaith's lawyers did not dispute that he was with bin Laden in Afghanistan at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. But they argued that Abu Ghaith, who had not yet married bin Laden's daughter, Fatima, did not know of the attacks in advance and served only as a mouthpiece after the fact.
Abu Ghaith, the most prominent al-Qaida leader to be tried in a civilian court in the United States since 2001, testified in his own defense. He described being summoned by bin Laden after the attacks and being asked to "deliver a message to the world."
That message was used by prosecutors. John P. Cronan, in his closing argument, cited an Oct. 9 video in which Abu Ghaith warned the U.S. that thousands of young Muslims were "yearning for death" in battle.
Jurors also showed a screen shot of a video made on Sept. 12, 2001, of top al-Qaida leaders, including bin Laden and his second in command, Ayman al Zawahiri.
“Sulaiman Abu Ghaith literally sat at Osama bin Laden’s right hand,” Cronan said.
[New York Times]
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