The Info List - 1998 U.S. Embassy Bombings

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The 1998 United States embassy bombings were attacks that occurred on August 7, 1998, in which over 200 people were killed in nearly simultaneous truck bomb explosions in two East African cities, one at the United States Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the other at the United States Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.[1] The attacks, which were linked to local members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, brought Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and their terrorist organization, al-Qaeda, to the attention of the American public for the first time, and resulted in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) placing bin Laden on its ten most-wanted fugitives list. The FBI also connected the attack to Azerbaijan, as 60 calls were placed via satellite phone by bin Laden to associates in the country's capital Baku.[2] Fazul Abdullah Mohammed and Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah were credited with being the masterminds behind the bombings.[3][4][5]


1 Motivation and preparation 2 Attacks and casualties 3 Aftermath and international response 4 Indictment 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Motivation and preparation[edit] The bombings are widely believed to have been revenge for American involvement in the extradition, and alleged torture, of four members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) who had been arrested in Albania for an alleged series of murders in Egypt in the two months prior to the attacks.[6] Between June and July, Ahmad Isma'il 'Uthman Saleh, Ahmad Ibrahim al-Sayyid al-Naggar, Shawqi Salama Mustafa Atiya and Mohamed Hassan Tita were all renditioned from Albania to Egypt, with the co-operation of the United States; the four men were accused of participating in the assassination of Rifaat el-Mahgoub, as well as a later plot against the Khan el-Khalili market in Cairo.[7] The following month, a communique was issued warning the United States that a "response" was being prepared to "repay" them for their interference.[8][9] However, the 9/11 Commission Report claims that preparations began shortly after bin Laden issued his February 1998 fatwa.[10]

A Nissan Atlas truck, similar to that used in Dar es-Salaam

According to journalist Lawrence Wright, the Nairobi operation was named after the Holy Kaaba in Mecca; the Dar es Salaam bombing was called Operation al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, but "neither had an obvious connection to the American embassies in Africa. Bin Laden initially said that the sites had been targeted because of the 'invasion' of Somalia; then he described an American plan to partition Sudan, which he said was hatched in the embassy in Nairobi. He also told his followers that the genocide in Rwanda had been planned inside the two American embassies." Wright concludes that bin Laden's actual goal was "to lure the United States into Afghanistan, which had long been called 'The Graveyard of Empires.'"[11] In May 1998, a villa in Nairobi was purchased by one of the bombers to enable a bomb to be built in the garage. Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan purchased a beige Toyota Dyna truck in Nairobi and a 1987 Nissan Atlas refrigeration truck in Dar es Salaam. Six metal bars were used to form a "cage" on the back of the Atlas to accommodate the bomb.[12] In June 1998, KK Mohamed rented House 213 in the Illala district of Dar es Salaam, about four miles (6 km) from the US Embassy. A white Suzuki Samurai was used to haul bomb components hidden in rice sacks, to House 213.[13] In both Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Mohammed Odeh supervised construction of two very large, 2,000-pound (900 kg) destructive devices. The Nairobi bomb was made of 400 to 500 cylinders of TNT (about the size of drink cans), ammonium nitrate, aluminium powder and detonating cord. The explosives were packed into twenty specially designed wooden crates that were sealed and then placed in the bed of the trucks. Mushin Musa Matwalli Atwah ran a wire from the bomb to a set of batteries in the back of the truck cab and then to a detonator switch beneath the dashboard.[12] The Dar es Salaam bomb was of slightly different construction: the TNT was attached to fifteen oxygen tanks and gas canisters, and was surrounded with four bags of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and some sand bags to tamp and direct the blast.[14] The bombings were scheduled for August 7, the eighth anniversary of the arrival of American troops in Saudi Arabia during the early stages of the Persian Gulf War, likely a choice by Osama bin Laden.[15] Attacks and casualties[edit]

Wreckage from the Nairobi bombing

On August 7 between 10:30 a.m. and 10:40 a.m. local time (3:30–3:40 a.m. EST), suicide bombers in trucks laden with explosives parked outside the embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, and almost simultaneously detonated.[16] 213 people were killed in the Nairobi blast, while 11 were killed in Dar es Salaam.[17] An estimated 4,000 in Nairobi were wounded, and another 85 in Dar es Salaam.[citation needed] Seismological readings analyzed after the bombs indicated energy of between 3 to 17 short tons (2.7 to 15.4 metric tons) of high explosive material.[18] Although the attacks were directed at American facilities, the vast majority of casualties were local citizens of the two African countries; 12 Americans were killed,[19] including two Central Intelligence Agency employees in the Nairobi embassy, Tom Shah and Molly Huckaby Hardy,[20] and one U.S. Marine, Sergeant Jesse Aliganga, a Marine Security Guard at the Nairobi embassy.[21][22] U.S. Army Sergeant Kenneth R. Hobson II was one of the 12 Americans killed in the attack.[citation needed] While Azzam drove the Toyota Dyna quickly toward the Nairobi embassy along with Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-Owhali,[23] local security guard Benson Okuku Bwaku was warned to open the gate immediately – and fired upon when he refused to comply. Al-Owhali threw a stun grenade at embassy guards before exiting the vehicle and running off.[24] Osama bin Laden later offered the explanation that it had been Al-Owhali's intention to leap out and shoot the guards to clear a path for the truck, but that he had left his pistol in the truck and subsequently ran off.[23] As Bwaku radioed to Marine Post One for backup, the truck detonated.[24] The explosion damaged the embassy building and collapsed the neighboring Ufundi Building where most victims were killed, mainly students and staff of a secretarial college housed here. The heat from the blast was channelled between the buildings towards Haile Selassie Avenue where a packed commuter bus was burned. Windows were shattered in a radius of nearly 1⁄2 mile (800 m). A large number of eye injuries occurred because people in buildings nearby who had heard the first explosion of the hand grenade and the shooting went to their office windows to have a look when the main blast occurred and shattered the windows.[citation needed] Meanwhile, the Atlas truck in Dar es Salaam was being driven by Hamden Khalif Allah Awad, known as "Ahmed the German" due to his blond hair, a former camp trainer who had arrived in the country only a few days earlier.[12] The death toll was less than in Nairobi as the US embassy was located outside the city center on Bagamoyo Road on a large plot with no immediate neighbors close to the gate where the explosion occurred.[citation needed] Following the attacks, a group calling itself the "Liberation Army for Holy Sites" took credit for the bombings. American investigators believe the term was a cover used by Egyptian Islamic Jihad, who had actually perpetrated the bombing.[25] Aftermath and international response[edit]

Memorial at the site of the embassy in Nairobi, 2007

In response to the bombings, President Bill Clinton ordered Operation Infinite Reach, a series of cruise missile strikes on targets in Sudan and Afghanistan on August 20, 1998, announcing the planned strike in a prime time address on U.S. television.[citation needed] The United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1189 condemning the attacks on the embassies.[26] Both embassies were heavily damaged and the Nairobi embassy had to be rebuilt. It is now located across the road from the United Nations Office at Nairobi for security purposes. Within months following the bombings, the United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security added Kenya to its Antiterrorism Assistance Program (ATA), which was originally created in 1983. While the addition was largely a formality to reaffirm U.S. commitment to fighting terrorism in Kenya, it nonetheless sparked the beginning of an active bilateral antiterrorism campaign between the United States and Kenya. The US Government also rapidly and permanently increased the monetary aid to Kenya. Immediate changes included a $42 million grant targeted specifically towards Kenyan victims.[27] In 2001, lead plaintiff James Owens, and others, filed a civil lawsuit against Sudan, for its role in the attack.[28] They argued that Sudan was at fault for providing sanctuary to the bombers, prior to the attack. They were awarded over $10 billion.[29] Sudan, which had not appeared during the initial lawsuit, appealed the judgment, arguing it did not understand the US civil suit system, and did not understand the consequences of not appearing.[30] The appeals court discounted that argument, but removed $6 billion of punitive damages that relied on violations of laws passed after the attack. Indictment[edit]

Memorial in Dar es Salaam

Following the investigation, an indictment was issued. It charges the following 21 people for various alleged roles in the bombings.[31] 18 of the cases have been settled.

Name Disposition

Bin Laden, OsamaOsama bin Laden Killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan on 000000002011-05-02-0000May 2, 2011

Atef, MuhammadMuhammad Atef Killed in Kabul, Afghanistan on 000000002001-11-14-0000November 14, 2001

Zawahiri, AymanAyman al Zawahiri Fugitive

Adel, SaifSaif al Adel Fugitive

Salim, Mamdouh MahmudMamdouh Mahmud Salim Serving sentence of life imprisonment in the United States[32]

Abdullah, Abdullah AhmedAbdullah Ahmed Abdullah Fugitive

Atwah, Muhsin Musa MatwalliMuhsin Musa Matwalli Atwah Killed in Naghar Kalai, Pakistan on 000000002006-04-12-0000April 12, 2006

Fawwaz, KhalidKhalid al Fawwaz Serving sentence of life imprisonment in the United States[33]

Hage, WadihWadih el Hage Serving sentence of life imprisonment in the United States[34]

Libi, AnasAnas al Libi Died in 2015 while awaiting trial in the United States

Eidarous, IbrahimIbrahim Eidarous Died in 2008 while under house arrest in the United Kingdom

Bari, Adel AbdelAdel Abdel Bari Serving sentence of 25 years imprisonment in the United States[35]

Mohammed, Fazul AbdullahFazul Abdullah Mohammed Killed in Mogadishu, Somalia by Somali government troops on 000000002011-06-08-0000June 8, 2011

Ali, Ahmed Mohammed HamedAhmed Mohammed Hamed Ali Killed in Pakistan in 2010[36]

Odeh, Mohammed SadeekMohammed Sadeek Odeh Serving sentence of life imprisonment in the United States[37]

Owhali, Mohamed Rashed DaoudMohamed Rashed Daoud al-'Owhali Serving sentence of life imprisonment in the United States[38]

Fadhil, Mustafa MohamedMustafa Mohamed Fadhil Killed in Afghanistan.[39][40][41]

Mohamed, Khalfan KhamisKhalfan Khamis Mohamed Serving sentence of life imprisonment in the United States[42]

Ghailani, Ahmed KhalfanAhmed Khalfan Ghailani Serving sentence of life imprisonment in the United States[43]

Msalam, Fahid Mohammed AllyFahid Mohammed Ally Msalam Killed in Pakistan on 000000002009-01-01-0000January 1, 2009

Swedan, Sheikh Ahmed SalimSheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan Killed in Pakistan on 000000002009-01-01-0000January 1, 2009

See also[edit]

Terrorism in Kenya 1998 World Cup terror plot

Nairobi portal Tanzania portal United States portal Terrorism portal International relations portal 1990s portal


^ http://hir.harvard.edu/religion/lifting-the-veil?page=0,1 Archived September 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Book Review: 'Mercenaries, Extremists, and Islamist Fighters in Karabagh War". Armenian Weekly. Retrieved 21 January 2013.  ^ Bennett, Brian (12 June 2011). "Al Qaeda operative key to 1998 U.S. embassy bombings killed in Somalia". Los Angeles Times.  ^ "Al-Qaida timeline: Plots and attacks – World news – Hunt for Al-Qaeda NBC News". MSNBC. Retrieved 21 January 2013.  ^ "Читать онлайн "The Black Banners" автора Soufan Ali H. - RuLit - Страница 83".  ^ Mayer, Jane (2008). The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals. New York: Doubleday. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-385-52639-5.  ^ Advocate, Victoria (13 August 1998). "Bombings connect to mysterious arrests".  ^ "Summary of the Security Intelligence Report concerning Mahmoud Jaballah" (Pdf). Canadian Security Intelligence Service. February 22, 2008. [permanent dead link] ^ Higgins, Andrew (November 20, 2001). "A CIA-Backed Team Used Brutal Means to Crack Terror Cell". Wall Street Journal.  ^ 9/11 Commission Report p. 69 ^ Wright, Lawrence (2006). Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. New York: Knopf. p. 272. ISBN 0-375-41486-X.  ^ a b c Benjamin, Daniel; Simon, Steven (2002). The Age of Sacred Terror. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-375-50859-7.  ^ Hamm, Mark (2007). Terrorism As Crime: From Oklahoma City to Al-Qaeda and Beyond. NYU Press. p. 65. ISBN 9780814737453. Retrieved 23 June 2016.  ^ Hamm, Mark S. (2007). Terrorism as Crime: From Oklahoma City to Al-Qaeda and Beyond. NYU Press. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-8147-3696-8. Retrieved 13 September 2011.  ^ Gunaratna, Rohan (2002). Inside Al Qaeda. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 46. ISBN 0-231-12692-1.  ^ "U.S. Embassy Bombings". U.S. Department of State website. Archived from the original on August 5, 2007. Retrieved August 4, 2007.  ^ "Frontline: The trail of evidence - FBI executive summary". PBS.org. Retrieved 2 May 2014.  ^ "Some Practical Applications of Forensic Seismology" (PDF). Retrieved 3 November 2010.  ^ "Profiles of Americans killed in Kenya embassy bombing". CNN.com. August 13, 1998. Archived from the original on 16 December 2006. Retrieved November 18, 2008.  ^ Associated Press, "Bin Laden raid avenged secret CIA deaths", Japan Times, May 30, 2011, p. 1. ^ Jesse Nathanael Aliganga Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Fil-Am hero guard killed in Nairobi". highbeam.com.  ^ a b Ressa, Maria (2003). Seeds of Terror. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-7432-5133-4.  ^ a b Katz, Samuel M. (2002). Relentless Pursuit: The DSS and the manhunt for the al-Qaeda terrorists. New York: Forge/Tom Doherty. ISBN 0-7653-0402-3.  ^ Global Briefings, Issue 27, "Osama bin Laden tied to other Fundamentalists", September 1998. ^ "Security Council strongly condemns terrorist bomb attacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam on August 7". United Nations. 13 August 1998.  ^ "United States Aid to Kenya: Regional Security and Counterterrorism". Archived from the original on March 9, 2011. Retrieved June 1, 2011.  ^ Nick Divito (2016-03-25). "Sudan On the Hook for Terrorism Judgments". Courthouse News. Washington DC. Retrieved 2017-07-29. Between March and October 2014, the D.C. District Court entered judgments of more than $10 billion on behalf of relatives and victims who had filed seven complaints after the attacks.  ^ Adam Klasfeld (2017-07-28). "D.C. Circuit Lightens Sudan's Load on Terrorism Judgments". Courthouse News. Washington DC. Retrieved 2017-07-29. On appeal, Sudan advanced several arguments for its district court no-show. The county had to grapple with natural disasters and civil wars, and argued it did not understand the U.S. legal process enough to appreciate the consequences of its absence.  ^ Patrick Boyle (2016-03-24). "D.C. Judge Upholds $10B Against Sudan In Embassy Bombings". Law 360. Washington DC. Retrieved 2017-07-29. A D.C. federal judge Wednesday upheld $10 billion in damages to victims of the 1998 U.S. embassy terrorist bombings who had accused Sudan of supporting the attacks, declaring the country had no grounds to overturn the award after failing to respond to the lawsuits for four years.  ^ "United States v. Osama bin Laden, et al" (PDF). (indictment). Provided by the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Archived from the original (PDf) on September 6, 2012.  ^ "Inmate Locator search for register number '42426-054'". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 8 December 2012.  ^ "Ex-Bin Laden aide sentenced to life in embassy bombings". BBC News. Retrieved 25 January 2016.  ^ "Inmate Locator search for register number '42393-054'". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 8 December 2012.  ^ "Egyptian Gets 25-Year Term in 1998 Embassy Bombings; Judge Calls Plea Deal Generous". NYTimes.com. Retrieved February 14, 2015.  ^ Miller, Greg (21 February 2010). "Increased U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan killing few high-value militants". The Washington Post. Retrieved 8 December 2012.  ^ "Inmate Locator search for register number '42375-054'". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 8 December 2012.  ^ "Inmate Locator search for register number '42371-054'". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 8 December 2012.  ^ http://www.makingsenseofjihad.com/2009/10/a-study-of-martyrs-in-a-time-of-alienation-xvii.html[permanent dead link] ^ "INTELWIRE.com -- Open-source intelligence, primary source documents, analysis by J.M. Berger, co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror, author of Jihad Joe: Americans Who Got to War in the Name of Islam" (PDF).  ^ "JTF-GTMO Detainee Assessment for Majid Abdu Ahmed" (PDF).  ^ "Inmate Locator search for register number '44623-054'". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 8 December 2012.  ^ "Inmate Locator search for register number '02476-748'". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 

External links[edit]

Rewards for Justice – Most Wanted Terrorists Transcripts of Sentencing Phase of Embassy Bombers Trial Primer on the attacks Summary of the Nairobi attack U.S. District Court for DC finds "direct assistance" from Tehran, Sudan and Hezbollah in bombing Oral History with Ambassador Prudence Bushnell to the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training on the embassy bombings

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Ayman al-Zawahiri Saif al-Adel Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah Hamza bin Laden Abdelmalek Droukdel Mokhtar Belmokhtar Qasim al-Raymi Abu Mohammad al-Julani Ahmad Umar Asim Umar Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil

Former leadership

Osama bin Laden (killed) Abu Yahya al-Libi (killed) Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (captured) Mamdouh Mahmud Salim (captured) Anwar al-Awlaki (killed) Samir Khan (killed) Younis al-Mauritani (captured) Mohammed Atef (killed) Fazul Abdullah Mohammed (killed) Abu Faraj al-Libbi (captured) Atiyah Abd al-Rahman (killed) Abu Laith al-Libi (killed) Fahd al-Quso (killed) Ilyas Kashmiri (killed) Abu Hamza Rabia (killed) Haitham al-Yemeni (killed) Abdullah Said al Libi (killed) Abu Sulayman Al-Jazairi (killed) Saleh al-Somali (killed) Abu Ubaidah al-Masri (died) Saad bin Laden (killed) Fahid Mohammed Ally Msalam (killed) Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan (killed) Ahmed Mohammed Hamed Ali (killed) Mohammad Hasan Khalil al-Hakim (killed) Mushin Musa Matwalli Atwah (killed) Midhat Mursi (killed) Saeed al-Masri (killed) Hassan Ghul (killed) Abu Ubaidah al-Banshiri (died) Walid bin Attash (captured) Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri (captured) Mustafa Setmariam Nasar (captured) Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi (killed) Khalid Habib (killed) Abdul Hadi al Iraqi (captured) Mustafa Mohamed Fadhil (killed) Mohamed Abul-Khair (killed) Mahfouz Ould al-Walid (left) Sulaiman Abu Ghaith (captured) Abu Anas al-Libi (captured and died) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (killed) Abu Ayyub al-Masri (killed) Abu Omar al-Baghdadi (killed) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (expelled) Abu-Zaid al Kuwaiti (killed) Omar al-Faruq (killed) Said Ali al-Shihri (killed) Ahmed Abdi Godane (killed) Adnan Gulshair el Shukrijumah (killed) Adam Yahiye Gadahn (killed) Harith bin Ghazi al-Nadhari (killed) Ibrahim Sulayman Muhammad Arbaysh (killed) Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi (killed) Nasir al-Wuhayshi (killed) Muhsin al-Fadhli (killed) Abu Khalil al-Madani (killed) Abu Khayr al-Masri (killed)

Timeline of attacks

1998 United States embassy bombings 2000 USS Cole bombing 2001 September 11 attacks 2002 Bali bombings 2007 Algiers bombings 2008 Islamabad Danish embassy bombing 2008 Islamabad Marriott Hotel bombing 2012 Benghazi attack 2013 In Amenas hostage crisis 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting 2015 Garissa University College attack 2015 Bamako hotel attack 2016 Ouagadougou attacks 2016 Grand-Bassam shootings 2016 Bamako attack


Soviet–Afghan War Afghan Civil War (1989–92) Afghan Civil War (1992–96) Bosnian War

Bosnian Al-Qaeda

First Chechen War Afghan Civil War (1996–2001) Second Chechen War War in Afghanistan (2001–2014) Iraq War Somali Civil War War in North-West Pakistan (Drone strikes) Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present) War in Afghanistan (2015–present) Syrian Civil War Yemeni Civil War

al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen Houthi insurgency in Yemen


al-Shabaab (Somalia) al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen) al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (North Africa) Egyptian Islamic Jihad (Egypt) al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (Indian Subcontinent) Tahrir al-Sham (Syria)

Charity organizations

Benevolence International Foundation al-Haramain Foundation


Al Qaeda Handbook Al Neda As-Sahab Fatawā of Osama bin Laden Inspire Al-Khansaa Kuala Lumpur al-Qaeda Summit Management of Savagery Voice of Jihad Qaedat al-Jihad Global Islamic Media Front

Video and audio

Videos and audio recordings of Osama bin Laden Videos and audio recordings of Ayman al-Zawahiri USS Cole bombing

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Osama bin Laden


Childhood, education, and personal life Militant activity Beliefs and ideology Search Khartoum compound Abbottabad compound Death

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Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (father) Hamida al-Attas (mother) Najwa Ghanem (first wife) Abdallah bin Laden (son) Hamza bin Laden (son) Saad bin Laden (son) Omar bin Laden (son)


al-Qaeda Wadi al Aqiq Messages to the World Fatawā 2004 video 19 January 2006 tape 7 September 2007 video 11 September 2007 video 20 September 2007 tape (more)

In media

In popular culture Growing Up bin Laden Holy War, Inc. The Looming Tower No Easy Day Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? Zero Dark Thirty Interviews


Allegations of support system in Pakistan for Osama bin Laden Bodyguard Issue Station September 11 attacks Allegations of CIA assistance to Osama bin Lad