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Abu Ghaith: Bin Laden's Son-In-Law On Trial
A jury in New York has heard how Osama bin Laden ordered his son-in-law to use the "murderous power of his words" to rally terrorists against America.
Assistant US Attorney Nicholas Lewin told the Manhattan courtroom - just blocks from the World Trade Center site - that Sulaiman Abu Ghaith used his oratory skills to recruit and inspire attacks on the United States.
Abu Ghaith, a former imam at a Kuwaiti mosque, is on trial for conspiring to kill Americans after the September 11, 2001, attacks.
In his opening statement on Wednesday, Mr Lewin said: "While our buildings still burned, he agreed ... in what is the most important moment in al Qaeda's savage history.
"He invoked his twisted view of Islam and declared 'Fight thee against the friends of Satan. Fight with al Qaeda against America.'"
Defence attorney Stanley Cohen mocked the government's presentation, telling jurors: "You've just been to the movies ladies and gentlemen. Good afternoon."
Abu Ghaith was brought to New York from Turkey last year to face trial. He has pleaded not guilty.
The prosecutor described Abu Ghaith as an inspirational and fiery orator whom some people considered an important religious scholar.
Mr Lewin said the defendant spoke to those training at Afghanistan camps in the weeks and months before the terrorist attacks on the US and also appeared in widely distributed videos after the attacks.
He told jurors they would see Abu Ghaith on videos from months after 9/11 taunting America with threats that the attacks would happen again.
Mr Lewin quoted the defendant several times, saying that he said weeks after the attack: "These young men who have destroyed the United States and launched the storm of airplanes against it have done a good deed. The storm of airplanes will not abate."
Mr Cohen made fun of the prosecutor's explanation of the case. He reminded jurors that his client is not bin Laden, and said the trial is not about the September 11 plot.
He said: "This is Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a Muslim, an Arab, from Kuwait, a husband, a father, an imam, a talker, an ideologue."
He urged jurors to keep open minds.
"At the end of the day, there's really no evidence," Mr Cohen said. "There is the substitution for evidence with fright and alarm."
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