March 8 - A son-in-law of Osama bin Laden and one of the highest-ranking al Qaeda figures to be brought to U.S. to face a civilian trial, pleaded not guilty Friday to a charge of conspiracy to kill Americans. Mana Rabiee reports.
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An al Qaeda accomplice inside a Manhattan courthouse.
Suleiman Abu Ghaith, the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden and spokesman for al Qaeda, pleaded not guilty in a federal court Friday to one charge of conspiracy to kill Americans.
It was his first court appearance following his arrest in Turkey late last month.
Abu Ghaith, a militant who appeared in al Qaeda videos after the September 11 terror attacks, is one of the highest-ranking al Qaeda figures ever brought to the U.S. to face a civilian trial.
His indictment charges him, among other things, with urging others to swear allegiance to bin Laden.
The man charged with conspiracy to kill Americans listened to his arraignment via an interpreter, following the proceedings closely and nodding often.
He spoke twice during his arraignment.
Once to say "Yes" when Judge Lewis Kaplan asked him if he understood the accusations.
And "Yes" again, when asked if he wanted court-appointed lawyers.
They entered the not guilty plea on his behalf.
Prosecutors said they expect his trial will last three weeks but no start date will be scheduled until April.