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4 Suspects Are Linked in Embassy Blasts

October 08, 1998| From Times Wire Services

NEW YORK — A federal grand jury here returned a massive indictment Wednesday charging four disciples of Islamic militant Osama bin Laden with participating in a terrorist plot to kill Americans. The plot allegedly included the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania on Aug. 7 and the training of militias that attacked American soldiers in Somalia in 1993.

The 238-count indictment represents the most comprehensive account so far in the U.S. law enforcement campaign against Bin Laden's Al Qaida network of Muslim extremists, and it marks the first official allegation that an American citizen participated in his violent conspiracies.

Wadih Hage of Arlington, Texas, a former personal secretary in Sudan to Bin Laden who was charged with perjury last month, was indicted Wednesday for his alleged involvement in the plot--although he was not charged with murder.

The indictment marks the first time authorities have linked the suspects to one terror plot; they previously had been charged separately. Mohammed Saddiq Odeh, Mohammed Rashed Daoud Owhali, fugitive Haroun Fazil--who face 200 counts of murder--and Hage are to be arraigned today.

The indictment formally accuses Al Qaida of training and supporting the Somali factions that killed 12 American troops in Mogadishu and hints that Al Qaida had a hand in attacks on American soldiers in Saudi Arabia.

The indictment also provides new details about the East Africa bombings, which killed at least 260 people and wounded more than 5,000 others. For example, it alleges that one suspect is seen on a videotape celebrating "anticipated 'martyrdom' " before driving the truck that blew up the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.

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