Bin Laden’s son-in-law found guilty of conspiring to kill Americans

Suleiman Abu Ghaith, left, listens as defense attorney Stanley Cohen, right, made final arguments in the trial on Monday

Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law was found guilty Wednesday of conspiring to kill Americans and of providing material support to terrorists, one of the most prominent al Qaeda operatives to be convicted in a U.S. civilian court.

The conviction of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is another notch for federal terrorism prosecutors, who have battled criticism in recent years that they were ill-equipped to handle high-stakes terrorism cases and that military commissions were better suited for the task.

The 12-member anonymous jury came to the decision in Manhattan federal court after deliberating for just over a day. The three-week trial and successful conviction stand in contrast to the military commissions handling the cases of detainees at Guantanamo. Those trials have crawled along at a slow pace and at least two convictions have been challenged successfully in federal appeals courts.  See also coverage in The Guardian.