The jury in the terrorism trial of al Qaida spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghayth went home Tuesday without reaching a verdict.
After being charged on the law by Southern District Judge Lewis Kaplan (See Profile), the jury began its deliberations just before noon Tuesday. At 4:30 p.m., faced with the option to continue deliberating, the jury instead sent a note to Kaplan, reporting “we are all tired and mentally exhausted and want to break for the day.”
The jury is weighing whether to convict or acquit the son-in-law of the late Osama bin Laden for providing material support and resources to a terror conspiracy, conspiring to provide material support and resources and conspiring to kill U.S. citizens, any of which could earn him a life sentence.
The Southern District U.S. Attorney alleges that Abu Ghayth, an imam from Kuwait, enlisted with al Qaida in Afghanistan in the months leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks, exhorted fighters training in al Qaida camps and then, at bin Laden’s request, issued propaganda videos and statements after Sept. 11 to recruit the next wave of suicide attackers.
The defense claims Abu Ghayth knew nothing about the 9/11 attacks and was far from the heart of the conspiracy, serving only a religious role for the organization.
Trial in the case began on March 5 (NYLJ, March 6).
Deliberations are expected to resume at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.