by FP Staff Mar 8, 2013 11:03 IST
Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden and his once spokesman has been captured and brought to New York for questioning. His arrest is being hailed as a major milestone in the US 'war against terror'.
Here are some key facts about Sulaiman Abu Ghaith:
* Abu Ghaith is a Kuwaiti citizen who first came to prominence during the 1991 Iraq occupation of the country. Following the defeat of Iraq, he delivered several sermons against the Kuwaiti government and royal family, denouncing the 1962 constitution and demanding the institution of Sharia law. The Kuwaiti government subsequently removed him from the mosque and banned him from giving sermons.
* In 2000, he traveled to Afghanistan, where he met Bin Laden. He is married to one of Bin Laden's daughters, Fatima.
* Abu Ghaith was a spokesman for Bin Laden and made several anti-US statements soon after the September 11 2001 attacks. In October he released a recorded message praising the attacks. "The Americans should know that the storm of plane attacks will not abate. There are thousands of the Islamic nation's youths who are eager to die just as the Americans are eager to live", he said in his statement, adding that the US and Britain, by attacking Afghanistan, had opened a door that would never be closed.
Several times, he used the word "crusade" as a derogatory term to describe the actions of the US and its Western allies. The statement caused Kuwait to strip him of citizenship.
* Although he faces terror charges, US Justice Department officials describe him as a propagandist, who they believe has not had an operational role in Al Qaeda for years and did not participate in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, or in any plots.
* He is believed to have founded an organisation called al Wafa al Igatha al Islamia, a charity believed to be a front for al-Qaeda's fund-raising efforts.
* Abu Ghaith was arrested by Jordanian officials and turned over to US authorities with the help of Israel's intelligence organization Mossad on 7 March 2013. He is one of the first operatives of al-Qaeda to be arrested and not immediately killed. His trial will also mark one of the first prosecutions of senior al-Qaeda leaders on US soil.
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