Osama bin Laden's son-in-law depicted the evening of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack, in a surprise testimony today. The highest ranked al Qaeda official to be tried in the U.S. since September 11th, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith was brought from Turkey to New York last year.
Conducted in a Manhattan courtroom, he claimed his father-in-law admitted to the horrific atrocities directly to him. Bin Laden stated: "I want to deliver a message to the world.-I want you to deliver the message". Abu Ghaith is married to Fatima, bin Laden's oldest daughter.
These revelations are in regard to Abu Ghaith's charges that he conspired to murder U.S. citizens and act as al Qaeda's spokesman. His lawyer Stanley Cohen announced his choice to take the witness stand. The almost empty courtroom was packed after the news quickly spread that he was testifying. Reports claim that jurors became lively as the suspected terrorist spoke and the room filled up. The defendant appeared relaxed while seated on the witness stand, yet used his hands animatedly for emphasis.
The 48-year-old man born in Kuwait claimed he initially traveled to Afghanistan in June of 2001 because he had a serious longing for knowledge of its Islamic government. Testifying via an Arabic interpreter, Abu Ghaith described how he met bin Laden when he was residing in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Bin Laden wanted a meeting after learning that he was a preacher from Kuwait. He explained to the pastor the roughness of al Qaeda training camps and wanted him to reach out to the recruits through faith.
Abu Ghaith admitted to knowing that bin Laden was a suspected terrorist yet he still "wanted to get to know that person...I wanted to see what he had, what is it he wanted". He claimed in court that videos based on more terrorism threats that he created were centered around "quotes and points by Sheik Osama". Abu Ghaith stated he had no prior knowledge of the 2001 botched shoe-bomb airline attack. He held on to his claim that his taped religious sermons were to inspire Muslims to fight oppression and not for recruitment purposes.
He described how he lived with bin Laden for two to three weeks in a mountainous region of Afghanistan, hiding out in a cave after the September 11th attack. Abu Ghaith portrayed the: "...situation was tense and the roads were dangerous". Abu Ghaith's trial began early this month. If found guilty, he will get the maximum life sentence.
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