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Thursday, 13 June, 2002, 17:51 GMT 18:51 UK
East Africans sue Bin Laden
Rescue attempts in 1998 in Nairobi
Over 200 people died in the two attacks on US embassies
Families and surviving victims of the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania say they have sued Osama bin Laden and his associates for $100 billion for damages.


This suit is about trying to rebuild the lives affected by the first wave of attacks on American soil.

John Eaves Jr

In a lawsuit filed in Washington, they say they want access to the frozen assets of those believed to have carried out or financed the crime.

After the 11 September attacks in New York and Washington, the United States and its allies froze the assets of many individuals and institutions suspected of funding international terrorism.

The two bomb attacks - which took place ten minutes apart in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam - killed 231 people, including 12 Americans.

Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network was blamed for both attacks in Kenya and Tanzania.

Terrorist funds

"This suit is about trying to rebuild the lives affected by the first wave of attacks on American soil," John Eaves Jr, one of the lawyers representing those who filed the suit, told Associated Press news agency.

Catherine Bwire and Douglas Sidialo, victims of 1998 attack in Nairobi
Bomb blast victims are seeking $100 billion

The victims had complained that the 11 September attacks had somewhat overshadowed the 1998 embassy bombings.

"Now that we know where the terrorist funds are located, we feel like it is only fair that the people killed or injured by the attacks have first crack at the frozen terrorist funds," said Bill Wheeler, another lawyer.

The suit, filed in a US District Court in Washington, alleges that Bin Laden directed the attacks, which it says were financed by a host of Islamic organisations and foreign governments.

Among the 164 defendants sued are Osama's lieutenants, several Islamic organizations and the governments of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan.

The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $100 billion for wrongful death, injury, emotional distress, conspiracy and racketeering.


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20 Sep 01 | From Our Own Correspondent
14 Sep 01 | Africa
13 Sep 01 | Africa
07 Aug 01 | Africa
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