Osama bin Laden's son-in-law took the stand during his trial in New York City Wednesday to recall a meeting he had with the al-Qaeda leader the night of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
"Lawyers for Sulaiman Abu Ghaith surprised the court by calling the defendant to testify on his own behalf." (Via Al Jazeera)
"He says he told Bin Ladin that when the U.S. found out he was responsible that they would kill him and topple the Taliban regime in Afghanistan." (Via ABC)
Abu Ghaith told the jury that bin Laden had asked him to meet in a cave in the mountains of Afghanistan just a few hours after two planes toppled the World Trade Center towers. (Via CNN)
The New York Times reports Abu Ghaith says, as soon as he arrived, his infamous father-in-law said, "Did you learn what happened? We are the ones who did it. ... I want to deliver a message to the world. ... I want you to deliver the message."
Abu Ghaith's unexpected testimony came just a few weeks into his federal trial in Manhattan.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the 48-year-old alleged al-Qaeda spokesman has pleaded not guilty to providing material support to terrorists and conspiring to kill Americans.
Originally, defense attorneys said they weren't planning on calling Abu Ghaith to the stand.
But Wednesday's surprise decision makes him the most senior bin Laden advisor to testify in a civilian trial in the U.S. since the Sept. 11 attacks. (Via NTDTV)
Also during his testimony, Abu Ghaith confirmed that, when he met bin Laden for the first time in 2001, he was aware of reports that he was involved in attacks on U.S. embassies in Africa and on the USS Cole.