Ghislaine Maxwell hires 'super lawyer' who defended Osama bin Laden henchman, Heathrow bomb plotter and mafia killers

GHISLAINE Maxwell has hired a New York lawyer who represented a henchman of Osama bin Laden and mafia killers ahead of her sex trafficking trial next year.

Attorney Bobbi Sternheim previously defended Khaled al-Fawwaz, a lieutenant of the Al Qaeda chief, and Minh Quang Pham, who plotted a suicide attack at Heathrow airport.

Al-Fawwaz, described by prosecutors as a "top al-Qaeda terrorist", was jailed for life after being convicted for his role in 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Africa that killed 224 people.

Manhattan prosecutors said that al-Fawwaz "worked for years, directly and personally for Osama Bin Laden. The defendant helped Osama bin Laden declare his bloody war on Americans."

Al-Fawwaz was reported to have been trying to pave the way for bin Laden to move to Britain and offered to take the BBC to his hideout in Afghanistan, The Mirror reports.

Authorities say her client Ming Quang Pham was instructed by a figure within al-Qaeda's Yemen affiliate to carry out an attack at London's Heathrow Airport. Pham was sentenced in 2016 to 40 years in jail.

Pham was reportedly trained by Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Muslim cleric who became a leader in the group. Al-Awlaki was killed in September 2011 following a US drone attack.

Maxwell assembled a legal "dream team" after the  FBI swooped on her $1million bolt hole and she was charged with luring underage girls to be abused by Epstein.

Her lawyers include former prosecutor Christian Everdell who won an award for helping to put Mexican drug lord "El Chapo" behind bars.

Maxwell’s other attorney Laura Menninger has represented her in a previous civil actions.

Ms Menninger was a financial analyst at Goldman before going to Stanford Law School and then moved to Colorado where she became a Deputy State Public Defender.

She issued the first formal response to the charges brought about against Maxwell over Epstein.

Her remarks were as part of a response to a civil suit filed against the socialite in January by a woman who alleged she was abused by the Brit and her depraved former boyfriend, ABC reported.

Mark S. Cohen is also in the legal team. He is one of three Brooklyn prosecutors who won the conviction of Thomas Pitera, a Bonnaro organized crime family hitman known as "Tommy Karate."

Maxwell's decision to hire Ms Sternheim comes after a former fashion student has told how she was allegedly "gagged, restrained and raped" by the Brit socialite and Jeffrey Epstein.

The 48-year-old said she was just 21 when she was recruited by a fellow student at her design school in New York to go and massage depraved sex trafficker Epstein.

The accuser, who wanted to be referred to by the pseudonym Samantha, told the Sun how her life was "stolen" from her by Maxwell, who she believes is the "mastermind" behind the billionaire paedophile's sex trafficking plans.

Samantha said: "They stole my whole life. I had a bright future ahead of me and they took that from me.

"The last time I saw them, Maxwell got a hold of me, restrained my arms behind my back and put a ball gag in my mouth and then raped me with a sex toy.

"Then she called Epstein in. And he joined in. I was terrified – I couldn't do anything to stop them," she said.

"It was the most traumatic experience but I feel she was the monster, she was the one behind it all."

The Sun reached out to Maxwell's lawyers for comments.

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