Monday 25 September 2017

Bin Laden son-in-law denies plot to kill Americans

Nikhil Kumar New York

Osama Bin Laden's son-in-law has appeared in a New York court, pleading not guilty to a charge of conspiracy to kill Americans.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, below, a former preacher and husband of Bin Laden's daughter Fatima, was led handcuffed into the crowded courtroom. He listened to proceedings through an interpreter, and spoke twice to confirm he understood the accusations and that he wanted court-appointed lawyers.

Mr Abu Ghaith, right, stands accused of being a spokesman and propagandist for his father-in-law's al-Qa'ida terror organisation.

He is not alleged to have had an operational role in the group's terror plots – but, in the wake of the attacks on the US on 11 September 2001, he appeared alongside Bin Laden and his then deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, saying that a "great army" was gathering against the US, according to allegations in an indictment.

Court documents say he went on to call upon "the nation of Islam" to fight against "the Jews, the Christians and the Americans".

Prosecutors further allege that in a speech following the attacks he said, "the storms shall not stop, especially the airplanes storm".

The 47-year-old was arrested in Turkey last month. He was living in Ankara after crossing over the border from Iran.

The case is a legal victory for the Obama administration, which has sought to charge senior al-Qa'ida suspects in federal courts instead of in the military detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba – a key pledge made by President Barack Obama after he took office in 2009.

Irish Independent

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