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The BBC's Bill Hayton
"The United States has created its own worst enemy"
 real 56k

Friday, 20 October, 2000, 18:34 GMT 19:34 UK
Ex US soldier admits embassy bombings
mohamed
Ali Mohamed: Conspired with Osama bin Laden
A former US Army sergeant has admitted involvement in the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Africa in which 224 people were killed, 12 of them Americans.

Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden: $5m reward
Egyptian-born Ali Mohamed, 48, admitted conspiring with Osama bin Laden and others to murder Americans.

Mohamed - who taught US special forces soldiers about Muslim culture - told a New York court that after he had left the army in 1989, he had helped train members of bin Laden's terrorist organisation, al Qaeda in the 1980s.

The bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in August 1998, were part of an Islamic Jihad, or Holy War, against western targets by bin Laden, he said.

"The objective of all of this was to attack any Western target in the Middle East," Mohamed told the court.

Plea bargaining

Mohamed also revealed that he had helped secretly move bin Laden from Pakistan to Sudan.

He was among 17 people charged in connection with the simultaneous embassy bombings.

kenya
The bombings were part of an Islamic Holy War said Mohamed
Mohamed, who entered the courtroom in leg shackles, stood in his prison blue uniform as he pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring with bin Laden and others to murder Americans anywhere they could be found.

He also admitted attacking the US military in Somalia and Saudi Arabia, killing Americans at unspecified embassies and to concealing the conspiracy.

His guilty pleas followed a bargaining agreement with prosecutors.

US District Judge Leonard B Sand first said the agreement guaranteed a minimum of 25 years in prison, but after an objection by defence lawyers, the judge did not specify the length of the potential prison term.

Mohamed was among 17 people charged in connection with the embassy bombings.

Of those charged so far, six defendants are held in New York, three others are held abroad and eight are fugitives, including bin Laden, who is on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List.

The US government has offered a $5 million reward for the capture of each fugitive.

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See also:

04 Aug 00 | Africa
Compensation deadline for Kenyans
10 Jul 00 | Africa
Embassy bomb suspect in court
06 Aug 99 | Africa
Picking up the pieces
10 Aug 98 | Africa
The story in pictures
09 Aug 98 | Africa
Eyewitnesses tell their story
08 Aug 99 | Africa
Kenya's bitter lesson
07 Aug 00 | Africa
Picture gallery: Kenya remembers
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