Published March 07, 2013
A top Al Qaeda spokesman who is the son-in-law of Usama bin Laden has been captured overseas and charged in the United States with conspiracy to kill Americans, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, first revealed that Sulaiman Abu Ghaith was captured in Jordan, and sources told Fox News he was apprehended "some time ago," without giving specifics.
He is expected to appear Friday morning in a federal court in New York City to face the charges.
"It has been 13 years since Abu Ghaith allegedly worked alongside Usama 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 Bharara said in a news release announcing Abu Ghaith's arrest. "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."
Attorney General Eric Holder added, "No amount of distance or time will weaken our resolve to bring America's enemies to justice."
But the news sparked criticism from Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte, who said Thursday the Obama administration's decision to bring Abu Ghaith to court in New York is wrong, "sneaky" and against the will of Congress.
Graham says Abu Ghaith is clearly an enemy combatant and should have been sent straight to the Guantanamo Bay detainee facility in Cuba for extended questioning.
Abu Ghaith became an international name in late 2001 when he appeared on pan-Arab satellite television urging Muslims everywhere to fight the United States and warning of more attacks similar to those of Sept. 11. In one video, he was sitting with bin Laden in front of a rock face in Afghanistan. A teacher and mosque preacher in Kuwait, he was stripped of his Kuwaiti citizenship after 9/11.
He is identified as a major Al Qaeda core official by the New America Foundation think tank in Washington. King said Abu Ghaith was involved in the planning in the 9/11 attacks against the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
"Definitely, one by one, we are getting the top echelons of Al Qaeda," King said. "I give the (Obama) administration credit for this: It's steady and it's unrelenting and it's very successful."
It's likely that Abu Ghaith will face a host of terrorism-related charges and possibly murder, which could carry the death penalty, said attorney Michael Rosensaft, who was a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan until last fall and is now in private practice. He predicted the trial will last months, if not years, and that some of the evidence against Abu Ghaith will be a challenge for prosecutors to bring to court if it is classified.
Abu Ghaith's trial will make one of the few prosecutions of senior Al Qaeda leaders on U.S. soil. Charging foreign terror suspects in American federal courts was a top pledge by President Obama shortly after he took office in 2009 -- aimed, in part, to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
On Thursday, King called Ghaith's capture a "very significant victory" in U.S. efforts against Al Qaeda. "The propaganda statements in which Abu Ghaith and his late father-in-law, Usama bin Laden, praised the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 are alone enough to merit the most serious punishment," King said
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney declined to comment on the capture when asked during Thursday's press briefing.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/07/lawmaker-bin-laden-spokesman-caught-in-jordan/#ixzz2MuMxi200
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/07/lawmaker-bin-laden-spokesman-caught-in-jordan/#ixzz2MuMZ6ocC