Top Al Qaida's propagandist had 15 minutes in federal court - WNCT

Top Al Qaida's propagandist had 15 minutes in federal court

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NEW YORK -

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith was escorted into federal court with his hands cuffed behind his back. The Al-Qaida spokesman pleaded not guilty to a charge he conspired to kill Americans.

In this video released the day after 9-11, he sat next to his father-in-law, Osama Bin Laden, and praised the attacks. He also warned of more American deaths to come.

Prosecutors say Abu Ghaith gave a lengthy statement to U.S. officials after his arrest. It totaled 22 pages.

There did not appear to be heightened security outside the court, but inside was a different story.

Abu Ghaith is being held at the federal jail right next door. It can be reached through tunnels and bridges attached to the courthouse. The terror suspect will not leave this complex until his trial is over.

Several Republican senators say Abu Ghaith should be held the detention center in Guantanamo Bay as an enemy combatant. But the Obama administration stands by its decision to try him on U.S. soil. It might even be quicker.

Bail was not requested at the hearing. The judge says he'll set a trial date at a meeting with both sides next month.

The defense team will need security clearance to read through classified material relevant to the case.

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