Bin Laden’s son-in-law pleads not guilty to terrorism charge

Abstract: Suleiman Abu Ghaith is being tried for terrorism in the U.S.

A son-in-law of Osama bin Laden and spokesman of terrorist group, al-Qaeda, pleaded not guilty on Friday to terrorism charge in a New York court.

Suleiman Abu Ghaith, who is charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens, appeared in court during a 15-minute hearing.

He arrived in the U.S. on March 1, after being arrested on February 28 in Turkey.

If found guilty, he could be sentenced to life imprisonment.

During the arraignment on Friday, U.S. District Judge, Lewis A Kaplan, appointed public defenders for Mr. Ghaith.

The defence urged the court to adjourn the case to early April in order to give the defence enough time to study the unclassified discovery submitted by the prosecution.

The discovery contains a 22-page statement Mr. Ghaith made after he was detained and a number of video and audio recordings when speaking on behalf of al-Qaeda.

Sitting between his defence lawyers, Mr. Ghaith seemed resigned as he listened to the translator detail the charge against him.

Mr. Ghaith, who is married to one of Bin Laden’s daughters, had been part of al-Qaeda since May 2001, the Justice Department said in the indictment revealed on Thursday.

He urged others to swear allegiance to the terrorist group and acted as the group’s spokesman, warning of attacks similar to the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, the charge against him read.

In a video from September 12, 2001, Mr. Ghaith appeared alongside al-Qaeda leaders and told Americans that “a great army is gathering against you,” Mr. Kaplan quoted the prosecution as saying on Friday.

In the video, he was seated by Bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda at the time, and with Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of al-Qaeda.

He called on Muslims to battle “the Jews, the Christians and the Americans”.

He later warned the U.S. that “the storms shall not stop, especially the airplanes storm”.


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