Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, who once sat next to the terror leader and bellicosely threatened the United States, softly answered a judge's questions Friday.
Prosecutors say Sulaiman Abu Ghaith conspired to kill Americans as part of bin Laden's al Qaeda terror network, according to a federal indictment unveiled Thursday.
Through his attorney, the Kuwaiti pleaded not guilty to the charges in a federal courtroom in New York on Friday, nearly a week after his arrest.
A member of bin Laden's inner circle, Abu Ghaith had spent most of his time since the September 11 terrorist attacks in Iran, according to the federal indictment.
Before joining al Qaeda in 2001, he taught high school and preached in his native Kuwait before he was banned from his mosque for using his sermons to attack the government, according to the U.S. government. He also fought in Afghanistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
He spent the months before the September 11 attacks recruiting candidates for training in his father-in-law's terror training camps in Afghanistan, according to the indictment.
After the attacks that destroyed the twin World Trade Center towers in New York and heavily damaged the Pentagon in Washington, Abu Ghaith served as al Qaeda's official spokesman.
In a video made the day after the 9/11 attacks, Abu Ghaith sat next to bin Laden and al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri -- an AK-47 behind him resting on a rock wall -- urging Muslims to fight "the Jews, the Christians and America."
He later warned that "the storms shall not stop, especially, the airplane storms," and warned Muslims and foes of the United States not to board aircraft or live in high-rise buildings, according to the indictment.
U.S. authorities have charged that Abu Ghaith supported a major attack on America and urged people at a Kandahar, Afghanistan, guest house to swear an oath of allegiance to bin Laden.