March 20, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Ali Ahmad Razihi, accused of being a former bodyguard to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, hopes someday to leave the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay and return to Yemen, where he plans to marry and help his family in their fruit and vegetable farm. At a hearing Thursday to decide whether he should get his wish, U.S. military lawyers said they couldn't say with certainty whether he remained a threat to this country. Razihi appeared at the Pentagon's latest Periodic Review Board hearing, becoming only the third Guantanamo detainee to do so. The hearings, begun by the Obama administration as a way to gradually empty and close the prison in Cuba, are giving half of the roughly 150 prisoners a chance to be moved to a list of detainees eligible for release.
March 19, 2014 |
NEW YORK - A cleric who gave a rousing speech urging jihad against "Jews, Christians and America" after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks testified at his terrorism trial Wednesday that he was speaking for Muslims, not for Al Qaeda, even though he delivered his message while sitting beside Osama bin Laden outside his mountain hide-out in Afghanistan. Sulaiman abu Ghaith held the witness stand for about four hours after defense attorney Stanley Cohen surprised the courtroom by calling the defendant to testify on his own behalf - something Cohen said he had done only twice in his 30-year career.
March 17, 2014 |
NEW YORK -- The self-proclaimed architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks says a former Al Qaeda spokesman on trial in New York may have been "an eloquent, spell-binding speaker" who urged attacks on America, but he was not the high-level terrorist that prosecutors allege. In fact, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was one of Al Qaeda's top organizers of terrorist operations, portrays Sulaiman abu Ghaith as a little-known figure who would never have been privy to details of upcoming attacks on Western targets.
March 11, 2014 |
NEW YORK -- Saajid Badat had been through all the training, from firing weapons while riding a motorcycle to watching dogs and rabbits, trapped under glass, die slow, agonizing deaths as he learned poisoning techniques. He had laughed with other Al Qaeda members as the self-confessed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, scanned a list of tall buildings and crossed out the World Trade Center towers weeks after hijackers had destroyed them. Now, Badat was ready to carry out Al Qaeda's next big mission, a plan to down two U.S. jetliners using bombs hidden in shoes.
March 9, 2014 |
NEW YORK -- It was movie time at the guesthouse in Afghanistan, but this was no regular guesthouse, and it was no regular movie. Once you checked in, you couldn't leave. Osama bin Laden was a visitor. Rooms were stocked with Al Qaeda books. And attendance was mandatory when staff wheeled in a TV in the spring of 2001 and showed "The Destruction of the American Destroyer USS Cole," about the October 2000 attack that killed 17 U.S. sailors. One of the young men watching the movie was Sahim Alwan, a witness in the trial of alleged Al Qaeda propagandist Sulaiman abu Ghaith, which enters its second week Monday.
March 5, 2014 |
NEW YORK -- Prosecutors portrayed an alleged Al Qaeda spokesman as a member of Osama bin Laden's inner circle Wednesday as they began trying to convince a jury that he knew in advance of terrorist plots against U.S. targets, even if he did not plan or take part in them. But the defense attorney for Sulaiman abu Ghaith, who faces three terrorism-related charges, said the government was counting on fear and anger generated by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to convict a Muslim husband and father who had said some "dumb" things in the past.