Sulaiman Abu Ghaith Trial: Bin Laden Son-in-Law to Appear at New York Courthouse


Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, has been captured overseas and charged in the United States with conspiracy to kill Americans — according to The Associated Press

According to the Justice Department, Abu Ghaith will appear in a federal New York courtroom Friday, which has generated criticism from Republicans who insist "such terrorists don't belong in the [America] judicial system." 

However, Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.), the former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, described Abu Ghaith's capture as "as significant victory" in the U.S.'s efforts against Al-Qaeda. Abu Ghaith was a prominent spokesperson for the terrorist organization. 

But Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) criticized the Obama administration's decision to bring Abu Ghaith to a court in New York City as "wrong," "sneaky" and against "the will of Congress." Insisting that Abu Ghaith should be sent "straight to Guantanamo" for "extended questioning" given his status as an "enemy combatant."

"The Obama administration's lack of a war-time detention policy for foreign members of al Qaeda, as well as its refusal to detain and interrogate these individuals at Guantanamo, makes our nation less safe," Graham and Ayotte said in a joint written statement. "We are at war with Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups, and America's detention policy must reflect that reality," the added. 

The Justice Department, on the other hand, described the capture of Abu Ghaith as "significant."

"It has been 13 years since Abu Ghaith allegedly worked alongside Osama Bin Laden in his campaign of terror, and 13 years since he allegedly took to the public airwaves, exhorting others to embrace Al Qaeda's cause and warning of more terrorist attacks like the mass murder of 9/11," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said. Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder said, "No amount of distance or time will weaken our resolve to bring America's enemies to justice."

Abu Ghaith gained international prominence in 2001 when he urged Muslims everywhere to fight the United States. He's also believed to be "a major Al-Qaeda core official" who was involved in the planning of the 9/11 attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.