No verdict in bin Laden spokesman terror trial

In this courtroom sketch Osama bin Laden's son-in-law,

In this courtroom sketch Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, right, testifies at his trial Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in New York, on charges he conspired to kill Americans and aid al-Qaida as a spokesman for the terrorist group. (Credit: AP / Elizabeth Williams)

Jurors finished their first day of deliberations Tuesday without a verdict in the trial of accused al-Qaida spokesman Suleiman Abu Ghaith in federal court in Manhattan.

Abu Ghaith, 48, a Kuwaiti imam who married Osama bin Laden's daughter, is charged with conspiring to murder Americans and provide material support to al-Qaida by trying to recruit fighters in a series of audio and video tapes he made after Sept. 11, 2001.

Jurors began their deliberations at 11:45 a.m. after instructions from U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan. At 4:30 p.m., they said in a note that they were "tired and mentally exhausted," and wanted to break for the day.


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Abu Ghaith, whose best known video showed him discussing jihad as he sat next to bin Laden in front of a cave in Afghanistan on Sept. 12, testified at trial that his job was to articulate Muslim principles of self-defense, and he never joined a plot to kill Americans.

The government says abu Ghaith is the highest level al-Qaida operative to go on trial in a civilian court since Sept. 11. He faces up to life in prison. The jury is scheduled to resume deliberations on Wednesday morning.

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