Osama Bin Laden's son-in-law captured, brought to US

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by Brian Ross

ABC NEWS

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 7 at 6:06 PM

(ABC NEWS) -- In a secret operation, a man described as the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden has been brought to the United States to stand trial after being captured in Turkey, according to a law enforcement official.

The man, Sualiman Abu Ghaith, was quietly brought to the American homeland -- which he once said was the "heart of apostasy" -- last week by federal officials. Turkish media previously reported Ghaith was captured in Ankara in a joint operation by the CIA and Turkish intelligence last month and was later deported to Jordan. Investigators have been conducting interviews with him since his arrival in the U.S. and he is expected to appear in a New York court Friday, the law enforcement official said.

Chairman of the House Homeland Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence Rep. Peter King, who confirmed Abu Ghaith's capture, released a statement today commending President Obama, the CIA, FBI and Jordanian officials.

"I trust [Abu Ghaith] received a vigorous interrogation, and will face swift and certain justice," said King (R- N.Y.). "The propaganda statements in which Abu Ghaith and his late father-in-law, Osama bin Laden, praised the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 are alone enough to merit the most serious punishment."

In a widely circulated video appeared online shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Abu Ghaith said, "My beloved, we carried out what God ordered us to. We didn't make anything up, we only applied what God ordered us to."

Referring to the U.S. as the "head of apostasy" he said, "We have been able to hit it in the heart of its homeland."

In another video around the same time, Abu Ghaith is seen briefly with bin Laden, who was killed in a U.S. Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan in May 2011. In that video, he called on the "nation of Islam" to choose the right path in the "decisive battle between apostasy and faith."

"This is not a small fish," said Dr. Thomas Lynch at the National Defense University. "The catchy title is that he was bin Laden's son-in-law... What he was though was an important spokesman for core al Qaeda."

Lynch said Abu Gaith founded and ran a very significant Wahabi mosque in Kuwait for a decade until the Kuwaitis, under US pressure, revoked his citizenship.

"His apprehension sends a message in two directions," Lynch said. "First even these guys who have hid out successfully for a while are not safe from identification and capture. The notion of impunity is further tarnished. Second, Abu Gaith is one of ten guys left from al Qaeda core that have the financial ties and reputation who might have been able to get the old band back together to execute spectacular international terror attacks."

ABC News' Aaron Katersky and Rym Momtaz contributed to this report.

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