The jury gained some insight into Mustafa Kamel Mustafa’s thinking on al Qaeda’s terror attacks through his broadcast interviews being played in court. He is on trial on charges that he supported terrorism around the world.
An American convert to Islam who traveled to London’s Finsbury Park Mosque to meet the defendant testified Friday morning that when Mustafa spoke, the place was packed with a fairly young crowd.
Mustafa is accused of trying to create an al Qaeda training camp in Bly, Ore., in late 1999. He’s also charged with helping kidnappers in Yemen in a 1998 attack and arranged for fighters to attend an al Qaeda training camp.
Mustafa has pleaded not guilty to charges he conspired to support al Qaeda by trying to set up a terrorist training camp in 1999 in Oregon. He also is accused of helping abduct 16 people in Yemen in 1998. Four hostages died.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday he still believes Manhattan is the right place to put the self-professed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks on trial, but he won’t revisit the decision.
The verdict was returned Wednesday for Sulaiman Abu Ghaith in federal court in Manhattan.
The jury began deliberations Tuesday morning after federal Judge Lewis Kaplan read the law that will guide them toward a verdict in the case of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith.
Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, an imam from Kuwait, delivered fiery videotaped sermons in Arabic that were intended to drive “more men to al Qaeda and its mission. Al Qaeda needed these young men to be its next generation of terrorists.”
The latest edition of al Qaeda’s English language online magazine labels urges its readers to attack the United States with car bombs and includes a photo of Times Square.
A defense attorney made the surprise announcement Wednesday that his client, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, would testify.
At a hearing Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected a request by defense lawyers. They’d sought to call Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as a witness at the terrorism trial of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith.
A pair of FBI agents were the first witnesses called by the defense on Monday. The agents testified that they first met Sulaiman Abu Ghaith a year ago on the tarmac in Jordan as he stood beside the plane that would fly him to New York to stand trial.
The government’s charge that he provided material support to the terrorist group is based on the fact that when Osama bin Laden summoned him on the very day of the attacks to videotape a speech that would let the world know al Qaeda was responsible, he agreed.
FBI Special Agent Michael Butsch was the chief interviewer to question Sulaiman Abu Ghaith aboard a flight to the United States after his arrest in Turkey a year ago.
Saajid Badat, a 34-year-old United Kingdom resident, is expected to testify all day Tuesday by video hookup from London. He refuses to testify in the United States because he faces terrorism charges in Boston that could send him to prison for life.