Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday in New York following his conviction on terrorism charges.
In March, the Kuwaiti-born 48-year-old was found guilty of helping al Qaeda terrorists conspire to kill Americans and providing material support for such actions.
US District Judge Lewis Kaplan imposed the sentence minutes after Abu Ghaith made a statement in Arabic, quoting the Koran and declaring he would not ask for mercy from anyone but God, Reuters reported Tuesday.
“You, sir, in my assessment, are committed to doing everything you can to assist al Qaeda in its mission to kill Americans,” Kaplan was quoted as saying.
Prosecutors painted Abu Ghaith as a charismatic spokesman for al Qaeda in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks in the US, saying he recorded inflammatory videos used to recruit new members.
“Abu Ghaith was a proud participant in al Qaeda’s conspiracy to kill Americans,” Assistant US Attorney John Cronan told the court. “He was someone Osama bin Laden relied on heavily.”
Abu Ghaith’s lawyer, Stanley Cohen, argued that his client was guilty only of fiery speeches and that not a “scintilla of evidence” exists to connect him with any specific plots.
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