1998 U.S. Embassy bombings — Abu Anas al Libi, a key al Qaeda operative wanted for his role in the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, has been captured in a U.S. special operations forces raid in Tripoli, Libya.
In 1998, the simultaneous bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania shocked the world, claiming the lives of 224 people. These acts of terror were attributed to the extremist group al Qaeda. Here is a timeline of events related to these bombings:
The bombings occurred eight years after the deployment of US troops to Saudi Arabia, which al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden considered a grave offense.
Over 20 individuals were indicted in the United States in connection with the embassy bombings.
August 7, 1998: Almost simultaneously, bombs exploded at the US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, resulting in 224 casualties, including 12 US citizens.
August 20, 1998: The United States launched cruise missiles at suspected terrorist targets in Afghanistan and Sudan in retaliation for the embassy bombings.
August 27, 1998: Yemeni citizen Mohamed Rashed Daoud al-‘Owhali was charged with multiple counts of murder, conspiracy, and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction in connection with the Kenya embassy bombing.
August 28, 1998: Mohammed Saddiq Odeh was charged with similar counts regarding the embassy bombing, claiming it was orchestrated by al Qaeda, led by bin Laden.
September 1998: Wadih el Hage, a former personal secretary to bin Laden, was arrested and charged with perjury and conspiracy to kill US citizens.
September 16, 1998: Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, a founding member of al Qaeda, was arrested in Munich, Germany, and later extradited to the United States.
November 4, 1998: Bin Laden and al Qaeda military chief Muhammad Atef were indicted on 224 counts of murder for the embassy bombings, with a $5 million reward offered for bin Laden's arrest or conviction.
July 11, 1999: Suspects Ibrahim Hussein Abdel Hadi Eidarous and Adel Abdul Bary were arrested in London.
October 1999: Suspect Khalfan Khamis Mohamed was arrested in South Africa and extradited to the United States.
October 20, 2000: Former US Army Sergeant Ali Mohamed pleaded guilty to terrorism conspiracy charges in connection with the embassy bombings.
November 1, 2000: Salim attacked a prison guard, causing serious brain damage.
May 29, 2001: A New York jury found al-‘Owhali and Khamis Mohamed guilty of murder in the embassy bombings, with Odeh and el Hage convicted of conspiracy.
September 11, 2001: The 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred, orchestrated by bin Laden, resulting in 2,977 fatalities.
October 18, 2001: Al-‘Owhali, Mohamed, Odeh, and el Hage were formally sentenced to life in prison without parole.
March 3, 2003: A new fortified US embassy in Nairobi was opened.
May 3, 2004: Salim was sentenced to 32 years in prison for the 2000 attack on a prison guard.
July 2008: Suspect Eidarous passed away under house arrest in Great Britain.
November 24, 2008: The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the convictions of al-‘Owhali, el Hage, and Odeh, with el Hage deemed eligible for resentencing.
August 31, 2010: Salim was resentenced to life in prison.
January 25, 2011: Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, the first Guantánamo Bay detainee tried in US civilian court, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for his role in the embassy bombings.
May 2, 2011: Bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, was killed by US Special Forces in a raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
October 5, 2012: Suspects Khaled al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary were extradited to the United States from Great Britain.
April 23, 2013: El Hage was resentenced to life in prison.
October 5, 2013: Suspect Abu Anas al Libi, also known as Nazih al-Ruqaii, was captured in Tripoli, Libya.
September 19, 2014: Bary pleaded guilty to conspiracy to kill US citizens and charges related to making threats.
January 2, 2015: Al Libi passed away in custody before his trial began.
January 22, 2015: The trial of al-Fawwaz began in New York, with accusations of setting up an al Qaeda media office in London that facilitated conversations leading to the 1998 bombings.
February 6, 2015: Bary was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts, including conspiracy to murder US citizens abroad.
May 15, 2015: Al-Fawwaz was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted on conspiracy charges in February.
May 18, 2020: The US Supreme Court ruled that victims of the embassy bombings and their families were entitled to punitive damages, part of a total $10.2 billion awarded against Sudan for aiding the al Qaeda operatives.
March 31, 2021: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the United States received the $335 million settlement from Sudan to be paid to victims and families affected by the 1998 embassy bombings, the 2000 USS Cole attack, and the murder of a USAID employee in Khartoum. The Sudan Claims Resolution Act addressed issues of unequal compensation for victims, including birthright and naturalized citizens.
This timeline provides a comprehensive overview of the events related to the tragic US Embassy bombings in 1998 and their aftermath.