NEW YORK: To US prosecutors, Osama bin Laden´s son-in-law was his trusted, right-hand man who conspired to kill Americans and inspired a new generation of Al-Qaeda terrorists after the 9/11 attacks.
In words of the defense, Suleiman Abu Ghaith was never a terrorist but a respected imam.
His views might sicken the jury, but he never conspired to kill anyone. On Tuesday a New York jury will begin deliberations on whether Abu Ghaith is guilty of conspiracy to kill Americans and of conspiring and supporting terrorists.
The highest-profile Al-Qaeda trial yet in a US federal court, the outcome will be closely watched as pressure builds on the White House to close Guantanamo Bay.
The 48-year-old preacher from Kuwait denies the charges. He faces life in prison if convicted.
In follow-up videos he threatened America with a “storm of airplanes” — proof the government says that he was implicated in the December 2001 plot to blow up a transatlantic flight from Paris with a shoe bomb.
The prosecution urged the jury to find the defendant guilty on all three counts, referring repeatedly to what they called “overwhelming” evidence against him.
Video and audio clips, his confession to an FBI agent en route to the United States last year and his testimony on the stand all proved his guilt, they said.