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Entries in Sulaiman Abu Ghaith (3)

Friday
Mar082013

Osama Bin Laden's Son-in-Law Pleads Not Guilty

AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden's son-in-law and a longtime member of al Qaeda's inner circle, pleaded not guilty to the charge of conspiring to kill Americans when he appeared Friday in a New York federal court house less than a mile from the site of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center towers.

Ghaith stood before a federal judge in a blue smock with his hands cuffed behind his back.  Prosecutors said much of their case is made up of a 22-page statement that Ghaith provided upon his arrest, along with previously recorded video and audio statements.

On Thursday, American officials said Ghaith had already provided interrogators with "key intelligence" on al Qaeda's status, personnel and finances.

"It is huge," Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said on Thursday.  "This is a man who is in the inner circle of bin Laden's al Qaeda operations and now we have him alive and he's talking."

Lawmakers and U.S. officials on Thursday revealed Ghaith's capture and secret transfer to New York.  After living in Iran, Ghaith was taken captured in Turkey in January and later turned over to Jordanian authorities.  From there, U.S. officials took over the case on Feb. 28 and spirited Ghaith to New York City on March 1.

The FBI's George Venizelos referred to Ghaith as holding a "key position in al Qaeda, comparable to the consigliere in a mob family or propaganda minister in a totalitarian regime."

"No amount of distance or time will weaken our resolve to bring America's enemies to justice," Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday.  "…[T]his arrest sends an unmistakable message: There is no corner of the world where you can escape from justice because we will do everything in our power to hold you accountable to the fullest extent of the law."

Dr. Thomas Lynch at the National Defense University told ABC News on Thursday that beyond providing a potential intelligence windfall, Ghaith's capture meant one of the more dangerous members of core al Qaeda is now out of play.

"Abu Ghaith is one of ten guys left from al Qaeda core that have the financial ties and reputation who might have been able to get the old band back together to execute spectacular international terror attacks," he said.

Ghaith will remain in federal custody until his next court hearing in early April.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar082013

Osama Bin Laden's Son-in-Law to Appear in NYC Court

AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Under heavy security, Osama bin Laden's son-in-law will appear Friday morning in a New York federal courtroom to answer to charges of conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens as a top member of al Qaeda's inner circle.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who U.S. officials said has already given up "key intelligence" on al Qaeda since his capture in Turkey, is expected to stand before a federal judge less than a mile from the World Trade Center memorial pools, one of the sites of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 Americans.  Shortly after that attack, Abu Ghaith appeared in two videos online -- one alongside bin Laden -- proclaiming, "We carried out what God ordered us to do," and calling on others to join a holy war against America.

[ CLICK HERE TO SEE THE INDICTMENT AGAINST SULAIMAN ABU GHAITH ]

Lawmakers and U.S. officials on Thursday revealed Ghaith's capture and secret transfer to New York.  After spending years in Iran, Abu Ghaith was captured in Turkey in January and later turned over to Jordianian authorities.  From there, U.S. officials took over the case and spirited Abu Ghaith to New York City sometime last week.

But even before he arrived on American soil, U.S. officials told ABC News he was "cooperating" with interrogators and providing key information on al Qaeda's status, personnel and finances.

"It is huge," Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said Thursday.  "This is a man who is in the inner circle of bin Laden's al Qaeda operations and now we have him alive and he's talking."

The Department of Justice referred to Abu Ghaith as holding a "key position in al Qaeda, comparable to the consigliere in a mob family or propaganda minister in a totalitarian regime."

"No amount of distance or time will weaken our resolve to bring America's enemies to justice," Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday.  "…[T]his arrest sends an unmistakable message: There is no corner of the world where you can escape from justice because we will do everything in our power to hold you accountable to the fullest extent of the law."

Dr. Thomas Lynch at the National Defense University told ABC News on Thursday that beyond providing a potential intelligence windfall, Abu Ghaith's capture meant one of the more dangerous members of core al Qaeda is now out of play.

"Abu Ghaith is one of ten guys left from al Qaeda core that have the financial ties and reputation who might have been able to get the old band back together to execute spectacular international terror attacks," he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar072013

Homeland Chair: Osama bin Laden's Son-in-Law 'Cooperating'

AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, has been "cooperating" and has already revealed "key intelligence" about the current status, personnel and finances of al Qaeda even before he was secretly spirited to New York City, U.S. officials told ABC News Thursday.

"It is huge," said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. "This is a man who is in the inner circle of bin Laden's al Qaeda operations and now we have him alive and he's talking."

Abu Ghaith is scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate in New York City on Friday and faces the charges of conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday.

[See the Indictment HERE.]

"No amount of distance or time will weaken our resolve to bring America's enemies to justice," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "…[T]his arrest sends an unmistakable message: There is no corner of the world where you can escape from justice because we will do everything in our power to hold you accountable to the fullest extent of the law."

Lawmakers and other U.S. officials revealed Thursday that Ghaith had been moved to New York sometime last week after being captured in Turkey in January and then transferred to Jordanian custody. Although he had spent years in Iran, officials said he was part of an al Qaeda senior management council that continued to be in contact with al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan and played a role in the transfer of personnel and money through Iran.

Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, Ghaith appeared in a pair of videos online -- one alongside Osama bin Laden -- and said, "We carried out what God ordered us to do," and called others to join a holy war against America.

The Department of Justice referred to Ghaith as holding a "key position in al Qaeda, comparable to the consigliere in a mob family or propaganda minister in a totalitarian regime."

Chairman of the House Homeland Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence Rep. Peter King, who confirmed Abu Ghaith's capture earlier Thursday, released a statement commending President Obama, the CIA, FBI and Jordanian officials.

"I trust [Abu Ghaith] received a vigorous interrogation, and will face swift and certain justice," said King, R- N.Y. "The propaganda statements in which Abu Ghaith and his late father-in-law, Osama bin Laden, praised the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 are alone enough to merit the most serious punishment."

Dr. Thomas Lynch at the National Defense University said of Ghaith, "This is not a small fish."

"The catchy title is that he was bin Laden's son-in-law... What he was though was an important spokesman for core al Qaeda," Lynch said. Lynch said Abu Gaith founded and ran a very significant Wahabi mosque in Kuwait for a decade until the Kuwaitis, under U.S. pressure, revoked his citizenship.

"His apprehension sends a message in two directions," Lynch said. "First even these guys who have hid out successfully for a while are not safe from identification and capture. The notion of impunity is further tarnished. Second, Abu Gaith is one of ten guys left from al Qaeda core that have the financial ties and reputation who might have been able to get the old band back together to execute spectacular international terror attacks."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio