Libyan Al-Qaeda leader due in US court today
New York: A top Al-Qaeda leader, captured in a secretive US Army mission in Libya this month, will be produced today at a court here, where he faces charges of playing a key role in the 1998 US Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that left 224 people dead.
Anas al Libi, 49, had a USD five million bounty on his head and his capture by the American special commandos on October 5 ended a 15-year long manhunt.
Since his capture, Libi was held and interrogated onboard a US Navy ship in the Mediterranean. He was brought to the US over the weekend and is expected to be presented before a federal judge at the Southern District of New York.
"Anas al Libi was transferred to law enforcement custody this weekend and was brought directly to the Southern District of New York where he has been under indictment for more than a decade. The Government expects that he will be presented before a judicial officer tomorrow," US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a brief statement yesterday.
Libi had been indicted in 2000 for his role in the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
The indictment charged him with helping to conduct "visual and photographic surveillance" of the United States Embassy in Nairobi in 1993 and again in 1995.
Prosecutors said in the indictment that Libi had discussed with another senior al-Qaeda figure the idea of attacking an American target in retaliation for the United States peacekeeping operation in Somalia.
The bombings in Kenya killed 213 people while about 5,000 people were injured. The attack outside the US mission in Tanzania killed 11 people and injured 70.
Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for both attacks.
Libi, who had lived in the UK, where he has political asylum, was on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists.
The December 2000 indictment charged him in the overall conspiracy, led by Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda organization, to kill US nationals and engage in other illegal acts.