9/11 Mastermind: Osama Son-in-Law Wasn't Violent

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith focused on preaching, says Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 17, 2014 10:27 AM CDT
This image made from video provided by by Al-Jazeera shows Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden's son-in-law and spokesman.   (AP Photo/Al-Jazeera, File)
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(Newser) – As Osama bin Laden's son-in-law faces trial in New York, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks has come to his defense. In 14 pages' worth of answers to questions from a lawyer for Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed asserted that the accused wasn't involved in al-Qaeda military operations, CNN reports. Abu Ghaith is accused of promoting al-Qaeda; he's been charged with conspiracy to kill US nationals. Mohammed, however, says Abu Ghaith was a scholar primarily involved in preaching to recruits.

"Those tasked with giving statements to the media do not necessarily know all the details of an operation and are sometimes even unaware of the very existence of the operation," Mohammed said. His role was as "an eloquent, spellbinding speaker," the statement noted, per the New York Times. Abu Ghaith's lawyers have said Mohammed's testimony "may very well exculpate" bin Laden's relative. But a former US prosecutor argues that "it’s hard to see how someone responsible for the murder of 2,976 innocent people could ever be an effective witness for anybody."

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