Defense says prosecutors trying to take advantage of post-9/11 fears

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors in New York today have described Osama bin Laden's son-in-law as a murderous mouthpiece for al-Qaida.

But defense lawyers say he was a target of a prosecution that was designed to take advantage of fears and resentments from the September 11th attacks.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith (SOO'-lay-mahn AH'-boo GAYTH) is charged with conspiring to kill Americans after those attacks, and providing material support and resources to a terrorist organization. Prosecutors say in the hours after the attacks, bin Laden asked him to be the public face of al-Qaida, and to recruit people to attack the United States again.

Jurors today were shown a photo of Abu Ghaith sitting side-by-side with bin Laden in Afghanistan on Sept. 12, 2001.

A defense lawyer responded that despite the prosecution's repeated references to the 9/11 attacks, Abu Ghaith wasn't involved in that plot. He said the defendant "is not Osama bin Laden."

Abu Ghaith was brought to New York from Turkey last year. He is married to bin Laden's eldest daughter.

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198-c-17-(Warren Levinson, AP correspondent)-"of aiding terrorism"-AP correspondent Warren Levinson reports opening statements began earlier today in the terror trial of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law. (5 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *198 (03/05/14)££ 00:17 "of aiding terrorism"

197-v-34-(Warren Levinson, AP correspondent)--A former Osama bin Laden spokesman has gone on trial on terror charges in New York. AP correspondent Warren Levinson reports. (5 Mar 2014)

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APPHOTO NYR102: In this courtroom sketch, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, left, listens as U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan stands to speak Monday, March 3, 2014 during jury selection at the start of Abu Ghaith's trial in New York on charges that he conspired to kill Americans and support terrorists in his role as al-Qaida's spokesman after the Sept. 11 attacks. Abu Ghaith is Osama bin Laden's son-in-law and is the highest-ranking al-Qaida figure to face trial on U.S. soil since the Sept. 11 attacks. Seated next to Abu Ghaith is a translater, next to defense attorney Stanley Cohen, right. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams) (3 Mar 2014)

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