Ghaith was accused of working alongside Bin Laden in an Afghanistan cave after the Sept. 11 attacks and serving as Al Qaeda’s spokesman. Abu Ghaith denied he was an al-Qaeda recruiter and claimed his role was a religious one aimed at encouraging all Muslims to rise up against their oppressors. The defense team asked the judge for 15 years for their client. The jury deliberated six hours before reaching guilty verdicts.
In the US this is considered as an example of how federal civilian courts can effectively handle terrorist prosecutions. “Justice has been served,” Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. said. Statistically, since the 2001 attacks, the Justice Department has won more than 500 terrorism-related convictions in federal court. Regarding the sentence of Sulaiman abu Ghaith, some public voices, as Sen. Kelly Ayotte, expressed the opinion that he should have been sent to Guantanamo. “When we treat hard-core international terrorists like common criminals and focus on convictions rather than intelligence collection, we lose the information necessary to keep Americans safe,” she said. After conviction, Abu Ghaith said through an interpreter that his harsh sentence would only encourage others.