The first Guantanamo detainee to face a civilian trial was acquitted Wednesday of most charges he helped unleash death and destruction on two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998 - an opening salvo in al-Qaida's campaign to kill Americans.Obviously Eric Holder and his boss will view this a smashing success and will move to immediately announce a date for KSM's New York trial.
A federal jury convicted Ahmed Ghailani of one count of conspiracy and acquitted him of all other counts, including murder and murder conspiracy, in the embassy bombings. The anonymous federal jury deliberated over seven days, with a juror writing a note to the judge saying she felt threatened by other jurors.
Prosecutors had branded Ghailani a cold-blooded terrorist. The defense portrayed him as a clueless errand boy, exploited by senior al-Qaida operatives and framed by evidence from contaminated crime scenes.
The trial at a lower Manhattan courthouse had been viewed as a possible test case for President Barack Obama administration's aim of putting other terror detainees - including self-professed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - on trial on U.S. soil.
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