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, March 29, 2014

Sept. 11 conviction sends important message

The conviction of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is more than justice for his role in terrorism, it is a testament to the ability of the U.S. judicial system.

Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, was convicted last week of conspiring to kill Americans and providing material support to terrorists. He faces life in prison.

His capture last year and this conviction make him the most senior adviser to bin Laden to be tried in a civilian court since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Americans will remember Abu Ghaith as the man who sat alongside bin Laden following the 9/11 attacks and praised the terrorists who flew the planes into the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon and into a field in Pennsylvania, and promised that there would be more attacks.

The trial lasted three weeks in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, with Abu Ghaith taking the stand in his own defense, and it took the jury two days to return its guilty verdict.

This trial is further testament that terrorists can be tried in a civilian courtroom with little distraction. In fact, the whole trial was low key.

It also sends an important message to the world that the United States stands for justice. Abu Ghaith got the fair trial that is promised in the Constitution and was found guilty by a jury of U.S. citizens.

There was no military court and no lingering sentence in the infamous Guantanamo prison facility. Abu Ghaith’s trial was as swift as most any criminal trial in the United States.

Abu Ghaith received a fair trial and the verdict he deserved. And it tells the world that our system of justice works for everyone.

— Tulsa (Okla.) World

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