NEW YORK – A defense lawyer is telling jurors in closing arguments at a New York terrorism trial that the Saudi Arabian defendant sought peaceful reform in his home country, rather than backing terrorism.
Attorney Bobbi Sternheim said Thursday that Khaled al-Fawwaz (kah-LEED' al-fah-WAHZ') worked with Osama bin Laden in the early 1990s before the al-Qaida founder became radicalized.
Prosecutors say al-Fawwaz was a top aide to bin Laden for nearly a decade before deadly bombings at two U.S. embassies in Africa. The bombings killed 224 people, including a dozen Americans.
A prosecutor told the jury Wednesday that the evidence against al-Fawwaz was overwhelming.
Sternheim called it "woefully insufficient." He says bin Laden took a very bad turn that "shocked, disturbed and angered" al-Fawwaz.