Criminal Law, Pages 503–505

United States v. Abu Ghayth

Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2014

Facts:

Defendant was a Muslim leader and teacher in Kuwait who moved to Afghanistan during the summer of 2001 to help Osama Bin Laden give speeches to the men at al Qaeda training camps. He briefly left with his family to Pakistan, but returned to Afghanistan on September 7, knowing that "something big was going to happen" and believing that he "had something to offer."

After the September 11 attacks, bin Laden retrieved the defendant, and the two published a video justifying and praising the attacks. Defendant continued appearing as an al Qaeda spokesman for the next year, and in two videos he threatens the United States with a "storm of airplanes." He was eventually arrested by U.S. authorities.

Procedural History:

Defendant was convicted of conspiring to kill United States nationals, conspiring to provide material support or resources, knowing or intending that they would be used in preparation for, or in carrying out, a conspiracy to kill United States nationals, and providing such material support or resources.

Issue:

Did defendant commit an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy?

Holding:

Yes, defendant committed the overt act of giving a speech threatening the United States with a "storm of airplanes."

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