Iran Stashed Bin Laden's Son-In-Law in Jail, Possibly to Use as a Bargaining Chip

Adam Clark Estes

On Thursday morning, we learned that that the United States had successfully captured Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who's also al Qaeda's spokesman. You'll never guess where he's been hiding the past ten years. Abu Ghaith has been kicking it in a horrible Iranian prison. Actually, "kicking it" is probably not the best choice of words.

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The exclusive report from NBC News that hit the web on Thursday night paints a pretty grim picture of the terrorist's jail stay. The network's Robert Windrem reports that bin Laden shipped al Qaeda leadership all over the world in the days and weeks following 9/11. Abu Ghaith was in the unlucky group that had to bribe their way into Iran. That didn't go so well, and Iranian authorities reported arrested hundreds of Abu Ghaith's cohort, including family members. One source says that Abu Ghaith was kept in "the blackest of black boxes." So why not just kill him or offer him to a bounty hunter or something? Explains Windrem: "Many in U.S. intelligence believed Iran held onto them for use as bargaining chips and not just with the U.S. They were in effect hostages." Where have we heard this sort of story before…

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It's unclear how Abu Ghaith made his way to Turkey, where he was captured, but the big takeaway from this revelation is that Iran's been hiding terrorists in its prisons. Which ones and how man, we don't know. At least, the story backs up Attorney General Eric Holder's speech after Abu Ghaith arrived in the U.S. for his trial. Holder said, "There is no corner of the world where you can escape from justice because we will do everything in our power to hold you accountable to the fullest extent of the law." Now, cut to clips of college students chanting "USA!" outside the White House.