[JURIST] A top Osama bin Laden aide was sentenced Friday to life in prison for conspiring with other al Qaeda members in the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Africa. A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] rejected Khaled al-Fawwaz’s claims that he is not a violent man [Guardian report]. Prosecutors said Fawwaz was an al Qaeda leader and director of a military camp in Afghanistan. He was supposed to stand trial for the bombings with Abu Anas al-Libi, but Libi passed away [JURIST report] in January. The attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killed 224 people, including 12 Americans, and left more than 1,000 people injured.
Many cases involving al Qaeda operatives are making their way through the US judicial system. In June the Department of Defense approved [JURIST report] the war crimes trial of Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi [BBC profile], a former leader of al Qaeda’s army between 2002 and 2004, accused [charge sheet, PDF] of killing US service members and funding al Qaeda operations amongst other things. In March 2013 Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the son-in-law of bin Laden, was captured [JURIST report] and thereafter indicted in federal court for plotting to kill Americans. In January 2013 the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the conspiracy conviction [JURIST report] of Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman Al Bahlul, Osama bin Laden’s media secretary. In October 2012 Egyptian-born Muslim cleric Abu Hamza Al Masri pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to 11 criminal charges, including taking hostages, providing material support to terrorist groups and conspiracy.