Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, was found guilty on March 26 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. Abu Ghaith, who was convicted for his role as spokesman for al Qaeda, is the highest ranking 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 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 for each additional count that he was convicted of.
Last week Khalid Shekih Mohammed (KSM) gave a statement 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 by Abu Ghaith to delay the trial on mistaken identity grounds. In February Abu Ghaith's lawyers were given permission 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 due to the US budget sequester. Following his capture in March of 2013, Abu Ghaith pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
From Jurist, March 26. Used with permission.