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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.

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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