The U.S. seized a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden who once served as an al Qaeda spokesman and flew him to New York to face trial, an antiterrorism coup that casts light on the group’s murky relationship with Iran, says the Wall Street Journal. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who was seized in Jordan after leaving his safe haven in Iran, has been talking to FBI agents in New York for several days. The Justice Department on Thursday unsealed an indictment charging Abu Ghaith with conspiring to kill Americans. Abu Ghaith, married to bin Laden’s daughter Fatima, faces life in prison if convicted.
U.S. officials believe that Iran last year gave new freedoms, including the option to leave the country, to Abu Ghaith and other members of al Qaeda’s management council. He was detained in Ankara, Turkey, last month on suspicion of entering that country with a false passport. Turkey didn’t turn Abu Ghaith over to U.S. authorities, as Washington had initially wanted, but instead deported him to Kuwait via Jordan, officials said. U.S. operatives then captured him in Jordan, which has worked closely with the U.S. in hunting terrorists. The suspect was flown to New York by the FBI last week, and he has been talking to interrogators since, sources said. Officials decided to file charges against him after he stopped cooperating.