A top Al Qaeda spokesman who is the son-in-law of Usama bin Laden has been captured overseas and is in the United States to face federal charges, sources tell Fox News.
The confirmation comes after Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, first revealed that Sulaiman Abu Ghaith was captured in Jordan.
Sources told Fox News he was apprehended "some time ago," without giving specifics. Sources said he could appear in New York federal court to face charges as early as Friday.
Abu Ghaith became an international name in late 2001 when he appeared on pan-Arab satellite television urging Muslims everywhere to fight the United States and warning of more attacks similar to those of Sept. 11. In one video, he was sitting with bin Laden in front of a rock face in Afghanistan. A teacher and mosque preacher in Kuwait, he was stripped of his Kuwaiti citizenship after 9/11.
He is identified as a major Al Qaeda core official by the New America Foundation think tank in Washington. King said Abu Ghaith was involved in the planning in the 9/11 attacks against the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
It's likely that Abu Ghaith will face a host of terrorism-related charges and possibly murder, which could carry the death penalty, said attorney Michael Rosensaft, who was a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan until last fall and is now in private practice. He predicted the trial will last months, if not years, and that some of the evidence against Abu Ghaith will be a challenge for prosecutors to bring to court if it is classified.
Abu Ghaith's trial will make one of the few prosecutions of senior Al Qaeda leaders on U.S. soil. Charging foreign terror suspects in American federal courts was a top pledge by President Obama shortly after he took office in 2009 -- aimed, in part, to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
On Thursday, King called Ghaith's capture a "very significant victory" in U.S. efforts against Al Qaeda. "The propaganda statements in which Abu Ghaith and his late father-in-law, Usama bin Laden, praised the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 are alone enough to merit the most serious punishment," King said
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney declined to comment on the capture when asked during Thursday's press briefing.