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Isakson Statement on the Administration's Decision to Bring Former Spokesman for Al-Qaeda to US for Civilian Trial


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., made the following statement today regarding the administration's decision to bring Osama bin Laden's son-in-law and former spokesman for al Qaeda, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, to the United States for trial in a federal civilian court in New York City.

"While I am pleased that we have captured Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, it is inexcusable that the administration would bring this former spokesman for al Qaeda to the U.S. and try him in a federal civilian court like an ordinary criminal. I have always said that it is terribly wrong to grant American constitutional rights to a terrorist from another country, and this case is no exception. Abu Ghaith should be interrogated and then tried in a military tribunal away from our home soil to ensure the safety and security of the American people."

Abu Ghaith was part of al Qaeda's inner circle before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and he married bin Laden's oldest daughter, Fatima. In videos and statements posted on websites, Abu Ghaith celebrated the success of the strikes on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and warned that al-Qaeda was entitled to kill millions of additional Americans and employ chemical and biological weapons.

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