Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a former Al Qaeda spokesman and Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, was detained last week by U.S. authorities in Jordan after being deported from Turkey to his native Kuwait.
Abu Ghaith’s statements on behalf of Al Qaeda, which ceased after he fled to Iran in 2002, demonstrated how the terrorist group’s ideology was rooted in the hatred of Jews, often linking Al Qaeda’s opposition to America with its animosity to Jews and Israel.
In the 2001 statement claiming responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, Abu Ghaith said that the attacks were in response to “the Islamic Nation having been groaning in pain for more than 80 years under the yoke of the joint Jewish-Crusader aggression” and the “Jewish occupation” of Palestine. He warned that attacks against the United States would continue unless the United States met three conditions: stopping “its support for the Jews,” lifting the embargo on Iraq, and the withdrawal of the United States from “our land.”
Abu Ghaith also released a statement claiming responsibilityfor an Al Qaeda attack on a synagogue in Tunisia, which killed 19 tourists in April 2002 and said it was revenge for the deaths of Palestinians. In the statement, he promised that “as long as America insists on its unjust and biased policy towards Muslims in favor of Jews and Christians around the world then, God willing, we will continue to hit it anywhere in the world.”
Abu Ghaith, who is now in New York City awaiting trial, is charged with conspiring to kill United States nationals. Prosecutors are essentially arguing that “the core purpose of Al Qaeda… is to support violent attacks against property and nationals, both military and civilian, of the United States and other countries” and that Abu Ghaith was a member of Al Qaeda with a close relationship to bin Laden.
He has pleaded not guilty, and faces a possible life sentence if convicted.