Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, an Al Qaeda spokesman who appeared on video to praise the terrorist attacks of September 2001, was deported from Turkey to Jordan, where he spent several weeks, and then flown to New York.
A U.S. official speaking on condition on anonymity said Abu Ghaith has been indicted on federal charges of providing material support to a terrorist organization along with being a spokesman for Al Qaeda.
“He made statements after 9/11 that they were going to kill more Americans, and the charges are related to conspiracy allegations, and matters like that,” the official said.
Federal prosecutors and the FBI plan to unveil the charges Friday morning at a news conference in New York.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who heads the intelligence subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee, praised the CIA and FBI, Jordanian authorities and President Obama for the capture of the Kuwaiti-born suspect.
“I trust he received a vigorous interrogation, and will face swift and certain justice,” King said in a statement.
On Oct. 10, 2001, Abu Ghaith appeared in two widely circulated videos, first broadcast on the Al Jazeera TV network, praising the Sept. 11 attacks and threatening more.
“Americans should know the storm of the planes will not stop,” he said. “There are thousands of the Islamic nation’s youths who are eager to die just as the Americans are eager to live.”
The Kuwaiti government stripped him of his citizenship after the videos appeared. He later was believed to reside in Iran.
Turkish media reported that Abu Ghaith entered Turkey in January, and was detained at the request of U.S. authorities but then set free because he had committed no crime in Turkey.
There were conflicting reports Thursday as to whether Turkey subsequently arrested him and deported him to Jordan.
The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported that CIA officers seized Abu Graith in Ankara, the Turkish capital and that the operation coincided with a visit by Secretary of State John F. Kerry to Ankara.