NEW YORK – A federal jury in New York on Thursday found Saudi terrorist Khalid al-Fawwaz guilty of participating in the 1998 bomb attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, judicial officials said.
“From his onetime place at the top of al-Qaida’s membership list, Fawwaz now joins the long membership list of convicted, jailed terrorists,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement after the verdict was announced.
The car-bomb attacks killed 220 people and wounded more than 4,000 and were staged by Al Qaeda on Aug. 7, 1998 at the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.
Bharara said Thursday that although Al-Fawwaz did not actually participate in the attacks, from his location in London he served as a link between Osama bin Laden and the West, facilitating interviews with Western media and disseminating worldwide via the Internet and other channels the Al Qaeda leader’s call for Muslims to wage “jihad” (holy war) against the United States.
Bharara said the verdict was the 10th conviction through a trial or guilty plea of a defendant tied to the bombings,
The 12 members of the jury took three days to reach their unanimous guilty verdict after a five-week trial in which they heard the testimony of former Al Qaeda members, the local press reported.
Al-Fawwaz, who was arrested in the United Kingdom in 1998 and extradited to the United States in 2012, was found guilty of four counts of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts and is facing a life sentence for each of them.
Another of the men accused of participating in the attacks, Libyan Abu Anas al-Liby, who was awaiting trial in U.S. custody, died on Jan. 2 of cancer at a New York hospital.