UPDATE: Thursday, March 7, 2013
A terror suspect described as an al-Qaida insider is in U.S. custody and will appear in federal court in New York tomorrow to face charges he conspired to kill Americans.
Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, served as a propagandist who praised the 9/11 attacks and warned there would be more. Officials say he was arrested within the last week in Jordan. A statement from Attorney General Eric Holder said the arrest demonstrates there where is "no corner in the world" where terror suspects can escape justice.
The case marks a legal victory for the Obama administration, which has long sought to charge senior al-Qaida suspects in American federal courts instead of holding them at the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But congressional Republicans said immediately that Congress opposes high-threat terror suspects being brought into the United States.
According to the watchdog group Human Rights First, 67 foreign terror suspects have been convicted in U.S. federal courts. By comparison, of the thousands of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, only seven were convicted by military tribunals.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte say the Obama administration is wrong to bring a recently captured son-in-law of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida spokesmen to court in New York. They described the action as "sneaky" and against the will of Congress.
Graham says Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is clearly an enemy combatant and should have been sent straight to the Guantanamo Bay detainee facility in Cuba for extended questioning.
Graham and Ayotte said at hastily arranged news conference Thursday that they worry that the administration's decision to have Abu Ghaith appear in a federal court in New York will establish a precedent. Ayotte says suspects like Abu Ghaith do not deserve the protections of U.S. courts. U.S. law enforcement officials on Thursday confirmed Abu Ghaith's capture.