Tue | Nov 13, 2018

Libyan charged in 1998 US embassy bombings dies

Published:Sunday | January 4, 2015 | 12:00 AM


Fifteen years after allegedly helping al-Qaida plot the 1998 bombings of United States (US) embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Abu Anas al-Libi parked his car on a quiet street in Libya's capital.

Within moments, soldiers from the US Army's elite Delta Force forced him, at gunpoint, into a van and sped away. They would fly him to a naval ship in the Mediterranean Sea before finally bringing him to New York to stand trial on charges of helping to kill 224 people, including a dozen Americans, and wound more than 4,500.

But al-Libi, who pleaded innocent to the charges against him, wouldn't live to see his trial start on January 12. He died last Friday night at a New York hospital of complications stemming from a recent liver surgery, his wife and authorities said Saturday. He was 50.

Al-Libi, once wanted by the FBI with a US$5 million bounty on his head, was chronically ill with hepatitis C when the soldiers seized him. His wife, who asked to be identified as Um Abdullah, told The Associated Press that his experience only worsened his ailments.

"I accuse the American government of kidnapping, mistreating, and killing an innocent man. He did nothing," Um Abdullah said.

In a federal court filing yesterday, US Attorney Preet Bharara said al-Libi died after being taken from New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center to a local hospital.