A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Bin Laden's son-in-law found guilty of conspiring to kill Americans

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden [JURIST news archives], was found guilty on Wednesday of both conspiring to kill Americans and providing terrorists with material support, following a jury trial in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website]. Abu Ghaith, who was convicted for his role as spokesman for al Qaeda, is the highest ranking [AP report] al Qaeda figure to face trial on US soil. At trial, the jury heard recordings of Abu Ghaith's voice on propaganda videos and saw a video where he appeared next to bin Laden. Abu Ghaith also unexpectedly took the stand [NYT report] and described in detail his conversation with bin Laden hours after the 9/11 attacks. Abu Ghaith faces possible life in prison for conspiring to kill Americans and a maximum of 15 years [NYT report] for each additional count that he was convicted of.

Last week Khalid Shekih Mohammed (KSM)[JURIST news archive] gave a statement [JURIST report] in defense of Abu Ghaith, claiming that he had no involvement in al Qaeda's military activities. Jury selection began earlier this month after the judge presiding over the trial rejected a request [JURIST report] by Abu Ghaith to delay the trial on mistaken identity grounds. In February Abu Ghaith's lawyers were given permission [JURIST report] to submit questions to KSM in order to determine whether they would call him as a witness. Abu Ghaith's trial was originally scheduled for September 2013 but was delayed [JURIST report] due to the US budget sequester. Following his capture [JURIST report] in March of 2013, Abu Ghaith pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to the charges against him.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.