Osama Bin Laden’s son-in-law pleads not guilty to plot



THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published — Saturday 9 March 2013

Last update 9 March 2013 3:53 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

NEW YORK: Osama Bin Laden's son-in-law pleaded not guilty yesterday to plotting against Americans in his role as Al-Qaeda's top spokesman as a landmark case trying a terror suspect on US soil moves forward.
Sulaiman Abu Ghaith entered the plea through a lawyer to one count of conspiracy to kill Americans after being captured in Jordan over the past week.
The case marks a legal victory for the Obama administration, which has long sought to charge senior Al-Qaeda suspects in US federal courts instead of holding them at the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Charging foreign terror suspects in federal courts was a top pledge by President Barack Obama shortly after he took office in 2009 — aimed, in part, to close Guantanamo Bay.
Republicans, however, have fought the White House to keep Guantanamo open, and bringing Abu Ghaith to New York led to an outcry. Republicans in Congress do not want high-threat terror suspects brought into the United States, fearing that outcomes in a civilian jury trial are too unpredictable, compared to a military trial.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced the capture of Abu Ghaith on Thursday, saying "no amount of distance or time will weaken our resolve to bring America's enemies to justice."
Holder reluctantly agreed in 2011 to try self-professed Al-Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a Guantanamo Bay military court instead of a civilian court after a fierce Republican backlash.
The Justice Department said Abu Ghaith was the spokesman for Al-Qaeda, working alongside Bin Laden and current leader Ayman Al-Zawahri, since at least May 2001. Abu Ghaith is a former mosque preacher and teacher and urged followers to swear allegiance to Bin Laden, prosecutors said.
The day after the Sept. 11 attacks, prosecutors say he appeared with Bin Laden and Al-Zawahri and called on the "nation of Islam" to battle against Jews, Christians and Americans.
A "great army is gathering against you," Abu Ghaith said on Sept. 12, 2001, according to prosecutors.
Kuwait stripped him of his citizenship after the 2001 attacks. In 2002, under pressure as the US military and CIA searched for Bin Laden, prosecutors said Abu Ghaith was smuggled into Iran from Afghanistan.
Tom Lynch, a research fellow at the National Defense University in Washington, described Abu Ghaith as one of a small handful of senior Al-Qaeda leaders "capable of getting the old band back together and postured for a round of real serious international terror."
"His capture and extradition not only allows the US to hold — and perhaps try — a reputed Al-Qaeda core survivor, but it also points to the dangers for those few remaining Al-Qaeda core refugees," Lynch said.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN Abdullah Al- Muallami unveiled a beautifully framed old kiswa (covering) of the door of the Holy Kaaba at one of the newly refurbished halls of the world body. The...
A policeman was shot dead by an unknown gunman in Qatif in the Eastern Province on Tuesday night.According to a spokesman of the Eastern Province police, the firing took place at 11:30 p.m. in a suburb called Al-Jishi.The targeted police officer was...
JEDDAH: Jeddah Show, one of the many events of Jeddah Summer Festival 36, is attracting a large number of visitors. The sound-and-light show is being run at the Jeddah International Exhibition and Convention Center.The show tells the story of the Bri...
JEDDAH: The Riyadh Traffic Department carried out extensive campaigns on the main streets, intersections and squares in the city to boost traffic safety levels and discourage bad driving.During the first 72 hours of the campaign, traffic personnel re...
RIYADH: One of two women infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) died here in Riyadh, while the other patient is being treated at a hospital in Al-Kharj, some 60 km from the capital. Since June 2012, the Ministry of...
AL-AHSA: Approximately 20,000 tons of Al-Ahsa dates are planned to be marketed abroad during the new dates season.Muhammad Ismail, director general of the King Abdullah City for Dates (KACD), said: “The authorities in the city are planning to increas...
JEDDAH: Al-Bagdadiya neighborhood residents in Jeddah are living in a state of worry because of 20 abandoned houses, which serve as hideouts for criminals.Residents said some houses are on the verge of collapse and have turned into shelters for crimi...
JEDDAH: A committee consisting of representatives from the Hail governorate, municipality, health department and the Saudi Food and Drugs Administration (SFDA) has ordered the closure of a restaurant in the city’s industrial area.Twelve people suffer...
The board of the Saudia Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization has announced that mandatory application of the regulations on new tires produced or sold in the Kingdom will commence in November this year.The board explained that the technical...
JEDDAH: The number of people with mental health issues or depression is increasing in Saudi Arabia due to urbanization, marital or relationship problems, and not being able to keep up with rapid progress. A Saudi mother said that her daughter suffers...
JUBAIL: Jubail beaches are expected to receive many tourists during September as a large number of people usually head to the city once the summer gets cooler to enjoy their holiday here.As part of the beach preparations for this season, the Social S...
RIYADH: More than 50 percent of vehicle users in the Kingdom are not satisfied with the after-sales service of auto agencies in the Kingdom.In a survey conducted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) to evaluate the performance of automobile...
JEDDAH: The Appeals Court has upheld the verdict issued by a specialized penal court which sentenced Dr. Said bin Zair to four years in prison from the date of his arrest in 1428.According to the ruling, the academician is also banned from traveling...
JEDDAH: Health authorities in the Eastern Province are expected to issue a decision soon against four Saudi nurses accused of “negligence” for an incident which led to the amputation of the hand of a Saudi girl after they tried to insert a needle in...
JEDDAH: The Jeddah municipality has closed down a popular restaurant following the discovery of a rat rummaging through food items.The rat act was captured on video and posted on social media websites. It went viral, prompting the authorities to laun...

Stay Connected

Facebook