Cleric who married Bin Laden’s daughter is convicted in civilian terrorism-support trial

A cleric and adviser to Osama bin Laden who praised the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has been convicted in a civilian New York court of conspiracy to kill Americans and providing material support to terrorists.

The conviction of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who was Bin Laden’s son-in-law, came after the cleric testified in a surprising move, the New York Times reports. Abu Ghaith is the most senior adviser to be tried in a U.S. civilian court since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Abu Ghaith testified that he met with Bin Laden in an Afghanistan cave after the attacks. Bin Laden took credit for the attacks and said he wanted Abu Ghaith to spread a message to the world, the cleric testified.

Abu Ghaith’s lawyer told jurors his client was acting as a cleric and had no involvement in terrorist plots. Prosecutors argued Abu Ghaith’s videos were intended to recruit terrorists and terrorize Americans.

Human Rights First issued a statement saying the verdict confirms that civilian federal courts are a better place to try accused terrorists that the military commissions at Guantanamo.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Bin Laden ‘consigliere’ arraigned in federal court, accused in claimed conspiracy to kill Americans”

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