Defense says prosecutors trying to take advantage of post-9/11 fears

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors in New York today have described Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law as a murderous mouthpiece for al-Qaida.

But defense lawyers say he was a target of a prosecution that was designed to take advantage of fears and resentments from the September 11th attacks.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith (SOO’-lay-mahn AH’-boo GAYTH) is charged with conspiring to kill Americans after those attacks, and providing material support and resources to a terrorist organization. Prosecutors say in the hours after the attacks, bin Laden asked him to be the public face of al-Qaida, and to recruit people to attack the United States again.

Jurors today were shown a photo of Abu Ghaith sitting side-by-side with bin Laden in Afghanistan on Sept. 12, 2001.

A defense lawyer responded that despite the prosecution’s repeated references to the 9/11 attacks, Abu Ghaith wasn’t involved in that plot. He said the defendant “is not Osama bin Laden.”

Abu Ghaith was brought to New York from Turkey last year. He is married to bin Laden’s eldest daughter.

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