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Tanzanian Charged in U.S. Embassy Bombing

Posted: March 31, 2008

A Guantanamo detainee alleged to have been involved in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania faces war crimes charges, according to the Pentagon.


On March 31, 2008, military prosecutors filed charges against Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, of Zanzibar, Tanzania, for his role in the attack that killed 11 people and injured hundreds of others. Ghailani faces the death penalty on six of the charges if he is convicted by a military tribunal.


Ghailani, who is being held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was captured by Pakistani authorities in 2004.


Last year Ghailani confessed to supplying equipment used in the bombing, although he reportedly said he did not know the supplies would be used to attack the embassy. U.S. military prosecutors have accused Ghailani of scouting the embassy in Dar es Salaam, meeting with co-conspirators in Nairobi, Kenya, and fleeing to Pakistan a day before the bombing.


The bombing in Tanzania was carried out almost simultaneously on August 7, 1998, with the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, that killed 213 people.


Ghailani is charged with “murder in violation of the Law of War, murder of protected persons, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, destruction of property in violation of the Law of War and terrorism,” according to the Pentagon.  In addition, he is charged with conspiracy to commit the above offenses.


Ghailani also was charged with providing material support for terrorism. He allegedly worked for Al Qaeda as a document forger, a trainer at a training camp and as a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden, according to the Defense Department.


Ghailani, once on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list, was previously indicted for the Tanzania bombing by federal prosecutors in U.S. District Court in New York in 2001.

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