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Press Release

Statements by Attorney General Holder and Acting Assistant Attorney General Carlin on Conviction of Sulaiman Abu Ghayth

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

WASHINGTON— On Wednesday, a federal jury in Manhattan found Sulaiman Abu Ghayth, the son-in-law of Usama bin Laden and a senior member of al Qaeda, guilty on three counts, including conspiracy to kill Americans.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement: “This verdict is a major milestone in the government’s unrelenting efforts to pursue justice against those involved with the September 11 attacks. I can imagine no more fitting outcome, and no stronger message to those who would harm our nation and its people: that no amount of distance or time can weaken America’s resolve to pursue, capture, and hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

“I want to especially note that this verdict has proven that proceedings such as these can safely occur in the city I am proud to call home, as in other locations across our great nation. It was appropriate that this defendant, who publicly rejoiced over the attacks on the World Trade Center, faced trial in the shadow of where those buildings once stood.

“We never doubted the ability of our Article III court system to administer justice swiftly in this case, as it has in hundreds of other cases involving terrorism defendants. It would be a good thing for the country if this case has the result of putting that political debate to rest. This outcome vindicates the government’s approach to securing convictions against not only this particular defendant, but also other senior leaders of al Qaeda.

“I want to personally congratulate U.S. Attorney Bharara, his team in the Southern District of New York, and those who assisted in our National Security Division, for successfully prosecuting this case with the utmost integrity and professionalism. I also wish to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, and Mayor de Blasio and the city of New York. This was truly a team effort.”

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin released the following statement: “This case highlights our resolve to find and bring to justice those who plot to attack our citizens and our interests around the world.  As the face and voice of al Qaeda in the days and weeks after the 9/11 attacks, Abu Ghayth conspired with Usama Bin Laden and al Qaeda and announced to the world al Qaeda’s deadly intentions to continue to attack America.  Today, he stands convicted and he will face justice for his role in al Qaeda’s lethal plot to kill Americans.  I want to thank all of the agents, analysts, and prosecutors who are responsible for this result.”


Updated September 15, 2014

Press Release Number: 14-313