[JURIST] The admitted mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohamed [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], on Sunday gave a statement in defense of Sulaiman abu Ghaith, claiming that Osama bin Laden’s [JURIST news archives] son-in-law had no involvement in al Qaeda’s military activities. Mohammed stated that abu Ghaith did not provide support to the terrorists, but rather served as a visiting celebrity, preaching the Quran to al Qaeda recruits. The 14-page statement was filed in US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website].
This statement is in response to questions [JURIST report] submitted by Abu Ghaith’s lawyers to determine if the defense will call Mohammed as a witness during the trial. Abu Ghaith’s trial, originally scheduled for September, was delayed [JURIST report] last April due to the effects of the US budget sequestration. Abu Ghaith pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to charges of conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens during his March 2013 arraignment. Abu Ghaith was captured [JURIST report] the same month while he was reportedly travelling through Jordan on the way to his native Kuwait.