Osama Bin Laden’s son-in-law will appear in a Manhattan court Monday, to answer charges of conspiring to kill Americans in his role as an al-Qaeda spokesman.
Prosecutors will try to convince an anonymous jury that Sulaiman Abu Ghaith attempted to rally terrorists to execute further attacks on Americans after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Prosecutors plan to show a video of Abu Ghaith making statements with Bin Laden on the day after the 9/11, and another video in which he promises more equally devastating attacks, NPR reports.
“The Americans must know that the storm of airplanes will not stop, God willing, and there are thousands of young people who are as keen about death as Americans are about life,” he said almost a month after 9/11.
Abu Ghaith is the most powerful alleged member of al-Qaeda to set foot on American soil since the attacks on the World Trade Center. The Kuwaiti national has pleaded not guilty, and his attorneys plan to assert that the government’s evidence may implicate a different Guantanamo inmate with a similar name. U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan said Friday that the mistaken identity defense is “utterly meritless.”
His attorneys have also solicited a 14-page statement from 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed which they hope may help acquit Abu Ghaith, but Mohammed’s lawyer said it would only provide it if there was a guarantee that military lawyers at Guantanamo couldn’t see it. Kaplan refused that condition.
Abu Ghaith is married to Bin Laden’s eldest daughter Fatima, one of almost 24 children of the late al-Qaeda terrorist. If convicted, he could face life in prison.