Thursday, March 7, 2013

Al-Qaida spokesman and bin Laden son-in-law captured in Jordan, in US custody

Rapho-Gamma via Getty Images
Al-Qaida spokesman Suleiman Abu Ghaith, left, and Osama bin Laden in a phote taken off a video and released by Al Jazeera in 2001.

By Jim Miklaszewski and F. Brinley Bruton, NBC News

Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, who acted as a spokesman for al-Qaida, has been captured in Jordan, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) announced on Thursday.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is being flown to New York City where he is expected to face terrorism charges, New York affiliate WNBC reported, citing unnamed officials.

"I commend our CIA and FBI, our allies in Jordan, and President Obama for their capture of al-Qaida spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith," said King, a member of the Homeland Security Committee.

"I trust he received a vigorous interrogation, and will face swift and certain justice," he added.

King is also chairman of the Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.
U.S. officials confirmed the report and said that Ghaith was in U.S. custody, but would not say exactly where he was being held. 

According to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Turkish officials captured Abu Ghaith in the capital Ankara, where a court ruled he had entered the country illegally with a fake passport. The Turkish government then ostensibly deported Abu Ghaith to his birthplace Kuwait, but arranged for him to transit through Jordan where he was ultimately taken into custody by U.S. law enforcement, the officials said.
According to Evan Kohlmann, an American counter-terrorism analyst for NBC News, Abu Ghaith fell out of sight after 2002. 

"Nobody's heard a peep. Some people thought he was being held prisoner in Iran, others thought he might be dead," he said. "The Iran thesis might be taking on more credibility now, especially given that he just showed up in Turkey seemingly right out of thin air.
This is a breaking news story. Please check back for details.

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