Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghayth, will appear Friday morning in a New York federal courtroom to answer charges of conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens.
Ghayth was a top militant for the al Qaeda and former associate of Osama Bin Laden, who appeared in videos representing al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
U.S. officials announced his capture and trial in New York City on Thursday.
“No amount of distance or time will weaken our resolve to bring America’s enemies to justice,” said Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General, in a press release. “To violent extremists who threaten the American people and seek to undermine our way of life, this arrest sends an unmistakable message: 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.”
George Venizelos, assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, said that Ghayth held a key position in al Qaeda.
“Comparable to the consigliere in a mob family or propaganda minister in a totalitarian regime, he used his position to persuade others to swear loyalty to al Qaeda’s murderous cause,” Venizelos said in a press release.
“He used his position to threaten the United States and incite its enemies. His apprehension is another important step in the campaign to limit the reach of al Qaeda and enhance our national and international security,” Venizelos said.
Ghayth had spent years in Iran until he was taken into custody in Turkey in January.
There, he was turned over to Jordanian authorities. Finally, in an operation led by Jordanian authorities and the FBI, U.S. officials had Ghayth extradited to New York City last week.
“The arrest of Abu Ghayth is an important milestone in our ongoing counterterrorism efforts. I applaud the many agents, analysts and prosecutors responsible for bringing about this significant case and arrest,” said Lisa Monaco, assistant Attorney General for National Security, in a press release.
Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said it has been 13 years since Ghayth allegedly worked alongside Bin Laden in his campaign of terror.
“The memory of those attacks is indelibly etched on the American psyche, and today’s action is the latest example of our commitment to capturing and punishing enemies of the United States, no matter how long it takes,” Bharara said in a press release.
NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, said in a statement: “While New York City must remain vigilant to continued terrorist threats against it, Abu Ghayth’s apprehension and prosecution promises to close another chapter in al Qaeda’s notoriously violent history of killing Americans.”
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