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March 07, 2013

Osama bin Laden lieutenant nabbed and indicted

An alleged Osama bin Laden #terror ally comes to court Friday, facing charges of conspiring to "kill United States nationals."

In a 10 a.m. court appearance in the Southern District of New York, prosecutors will present for arraignment Sulaiman Abu Ghayth, aka "Suleiman Abu Gayth." A seven-page indictment, made public Thursday, sketches out the case against the man that FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office George Venizelos describes as the "consigliere in a mob family or propaganda minister in a totalitarian regime."

Abu Gayth also happens to be bin Laden's son-in-law.

The indictment and the Justice Department's press release sent out late Thursday afternoon use similar language, asserting that:

Abu Ghayth urged individuals at a guest house in Kandahar, Afghanistan, to swear bayat to Bin Laden.  On the evening of Sept. 11, 2001, after the terrorist attacks on the United States, Bin Laden summoned Abu Gayth and asked for his assistance and he agreed to provide it. 

On the morning of Sept. 12, 2001, Abu Ghayth, appeared with Bin Laden and Zawahiri, and spoke on behalf of al Qaeda, warning the United States and its allies that “[a] great army is gathering against you” and called upon “the nation of Islam” to do battle against “the Jews, the Christians and the Americans.” 

Also, after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Abu Ghayth delivered a speech in which he addressed the then-U.S. Secretary of State and warned that “the storms shall not stop, especially the Airplanes Storm,” and advised Muslims, children, and opponents of the United States “not to board any aircraft and not to live in high rises.”

“To violent extremists who threaten the American people and seek to undermine our way of life, this arrest sends an unmistakable message," Attorney General Eric Holder declared in a statement. "There is no corner of the world where you can escape from justice because we will do everything in our power to hold you accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”


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"Suits & Sentences" is a legal affairs blog written by Michael Doyle, a reporter for McClatchy's Washington Bureau. He was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Yale Law School, where he earned a Master of Studies in Law; he also earned a Masters in Government from The Johns Hopkins University with a thesis on the Freedom of Information Act. He teaches journalism as an adjunct instructor at The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs.

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