A senior al-Qaida propagandist and Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law was brought to New York where he pleaded not guilty in a federal civilian court only blocks away from “ground zero,” the site of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center’s twin towers.
At the arraignment, the federal prosecutor, John P. Cronan, stated that the defendant, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, “made an extensive post arrest statement that totaled 22 pages.” Abu Ghaith was charged with conspiracy to kill Americans, according to Fox News.
Although the defendant had been in the U.S. for a full week, the public didn’t learn of the arrest until Thursday, catching lawmakers by surprise.
Fox News reported:
Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte, said Thursday the Obama administration’s decision to bring Abu Ghaith to court in New York City is wrong, “sneaky” and against the will of Congress. While foes of using Guantanamo to hold suspects say detainees there are afforded fewer legal rights, supporters say they can yield more information while held in the military facility.
Graham says Abu Ghaith is clearly an enemy combatant and should have been sent straight to the Guantanamo Bay detainee facility for extended questioning.
“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.”
Readers may recall that the last time a senior al-Qaida suspect was brought to New York for trial in a federal civilian court, the public and GOP lawmakers protested until the Obama administration relented. The alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s trial was referred to a military crimes tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Read more at Fox News.
Al-Qaida spokesman, bin Laden son-in-law captured by US agents
Fox News report of Abu Ghaith’s arraignment in Manhattan federal court:
Fox News report of GOP lawmakers’ objections to Abu Ghaith being tried in a civilian court, followed by analysis of Charles “Gully” Stimson, former Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary.
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