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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Libyan Al-Qaeda Suspect To Be Arraigned In New York

New York City (AFP) – A Libyan Al-Qaeda suspect is to be arraigned in New York on Tuesday in connection with the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa that killed 224 people.

Anas al-Libi was snatched from the streets of the Libyan capital Tripoli by U.S. commandos on October 5 and brought to New York at the weekend for trial.

He was indicted in 2000 in connection with the 1998 bombings which were claimed by Al-Qaeda, in a precursor to the 9/11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

Court officials said Libi would be presented before Judge Kaplan at 12:45pm and arraigned over the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

The car bombing of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi killed 213 people and wounded another 5,000 on August 7, 1998.

A near simultaneous truck bomb outside the U.S. mission in Tanzania killed 11 people and wounded 70 more.

Libi, a computer expert, was on the FBI’s most wanted list with a $5 million price on his head for his presumed role in helping to scope out targets in Kenya.

The married father-of-four is accused of conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim Americans and of plotting to maliciously damage and destroy U.S. property.

The 49-year-old initially was held and interrogated on the USS San Antonio, an amphibious American transport ship in the Mediterranean.

But U.S. television network CBS reported that his questioning was cut short and he was brought to New York after he started to refuse food and water.

CBS says Libi, whose given name is Nazih Abdul Hamed al-Raghie, suffers from hepatitis.

The New York indictment of him and 20 other presumed Al-Qaeda lieutenants in 2000 lists him in direct connection to the U.S. embassy bombing in Kenya.

It accuses Libi in 1993 of discussing possible attacks against the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, and of surveilling the diplomatic mission.