An attorney for the late Osama bin Laden's son-in-law is demanding the Pentagon allow him inside Guantanamo Bay so he can interview alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
The attorney, Stanley Cohen, said in legal papers filed Tuesday that an interview with Mohammed is crucial in his defense of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who is married to one of bin Laden's daughters, reports The New York Post.
Abu Ghaith is accused of being involved in "shoe bomber" Richard Reid's failed attempt to blow up American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami on Dec. 22, 2001, just two months after the 9/11 attacks.
Cohen said Mohammed is widely credited with commissioning Reid's attempt, and information from the detainee will "directly and totally repudiate the government's assertion that Mr. Abu Ghaith participated in, had any prior knowledge of, or conspired in any way to contribute or to provide material support for the 'shoe bomb' attack."
Abu Ghaith's trial on the federal terrorism charges is expected to start on Feb. 24 in a Manhattan federal court.
Cohen's move is in response to federal officials' plans to call on star witness Saajid Muhammad Badat, who pulled out of Reid's terror plot at the last minute, to testify.
Federal prosecutors expect him to testify via closed circuit TV that Abu Ghaith knowingly took part in al-Qaida’s conspiracies to kill Americans and that Abu Ghaith gave trainees speeches at al-Qaida camp Matar, which trains potential terrorists in the skills of urban warfare.
Badat and Reid were both given shoe bombs by al-Qaida leaders in Afghanistan to detonate, but Badat dismantled his device and hid it in his parents' home, The Post
Eventually, Badat pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the shoe-bomb plot and was sentenced to 13 years in prison, but was released in 2010 after agreeing to assist U.S. and British authorities in other terror cases.
He also offered testimony that led to a life sentence for Adis Medunjanin, a suspect in a failed 2009 suicide bomb plot for New York City’s subways.
Badat is also expected to testify in the federal trial of Abu Hamza al-Masri
, whose sermons are said to have inspired Reid and 9/11 conspiracist Zacarias Moussaoui.
Federal officials claim al-Masri "was a terrorist leader of global reach, who, among other things, sent his young lieutenants around the world to engage in terror training.”
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