Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law was convicted by a New York jury for conspiring to kill Americans in his role as al-Qaeda’s spokesman, where he used inflammatory propaganda to create recruitment videos.
Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is the highest-ranking al-Qaeda official to face trial on U.S. soil since the Sept. 11 attacks, the Associated Press reports. Abu Ghaith, a Kuwaiti imam, admitted during his three-week trial in New York he followed bin Laden’s orders shortly after the attacks in helping recruit new followers to al-Qaeda.
“Going to that man was the very first thing Osama bin Laden did on Sept. 11 after the terror attacks,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney John Cronan during closing arguments. “The defendant committed himself to al-Qaida’s conspiracy to kill Americans, and he worked to drive other people to that conspiracy.”
Abu Ghaith insisted throughout the trial that he had intended to encourage Muslims to rise up against their oppressors, and denied he was an al-Qaeda recruiter.
The charges against the al-Qaeda lieutenant could carry up to life in prison.