Al-Qaida spokesman on trial for 1998 US embassy bombings in East Africa

Islamic Extremism

The man accused of spreading al-Qaida’s call for Muslims to kill Americans has gone on trial in New York. Khalid al-Fawwaz is accused of helping the terrorist organization bomb two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998. He faces up to life in prison if found guilty. CCTV America’s Nick Harper reported this story from New York.

Al-Qaida spokesman on trial for 1998 US embassy bombings in East Africa

The man accused of spreading al-Qaida’s call for Muslims to kill Americans has gone on trial in New York. Khalid al-Fawwaz is accused of helping the terrorist organization bomb two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998. He faces up to life in prison if found guilty. CCTV America's Nick Harper reported this story from New York.

52-year-old Saudi national Khalid al-Fawwaz read papers and took notes in the Manhattan courtroom surrounded by almost 100 potential jurors on Tuesday.

Al-Fawwaz is on trial for his alleged involvement as an al-Qaida spokesman that influenced the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that left 224 people died, including 12 Americans.

Counter-terrorism observers say that the attack became a turning point for al-Qaida, a largely unheard of terrorist network at the time.

Al-Fawwaz has been in jail since he was arrested in the UK in September 1998, a month after the bombings. For 14 years, he fought extradition to the U.S. until 2012, when prosecutors agreed to bring him to a Manhattan civilian court, rather than taking him to the U.S. Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

This is the third high-profile terrorism trial to be heard at the Manhattan courthouse in the last year. Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, was found guilty for conspiring to kill Americans. While radical preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri, was found guilty for his involvement in a hostage taking in Yemen. Both Abu Ghaith and al-Masri are now serving life sentences.