US: Egyptian lawyer gets 25 years on terror charge

Adel Abdel Bary, a member of al-Qaeda and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) was sentenced to 25 years in prison Feb. 6 by Us District Judge Lewis Kaplan. The Egyptian national pleaded guilty last September to threatening to kill, injure, intimidate, and damage and destroy property by means of an explosive; conspiracy to make the threat; and conspiring to kill US nationals. The US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said that Bary "facilitated communications" for al-Qaeda leaders, including claims of responsibility and threats for the 1998 US Embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, which killed 224 people. The 25-year sentence was the maximum allowed under his plea agreement, and Bary will likely serve about eight more years to complete his sentence, as he has been incarcerated since 1999. Along with prison time, Bary was also sentenced to pay over $7.5 million dollars in restitution to victims' families, and over $26.3 million in restitution to the US. Khalid al-Fawwaz, one of Bary's co-defendants, is currently still on trial.

In 1997, Bary was the leader of the London cell of the EIJ, which merged with al-Qaeda in February 1998. The organization then issued a fatwa declaring that Muslims should kill Americans anywhere in the world and issued threats against US nationals. Shortly afterward, al-Qaeda bombed the US embassies is Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. Bary was arrested in the UK in 1999 and extradited to the US in 2012.

Several other participants have been sentenced for their participation in the bombings. In January 2011 former Guantánamo Bay detainee Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the bombings. In 2013 Wadih El-Hage also received a life sentence. In 2011 Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, an al-Qaeda operative wanted for his involvement in the bombings, was killed by security forces during a shootout at a checkpoint in Somalia's capital.

From Jurist, Feb. 6. Used with permission.

NOTE: Bary was among a handful of defendants whose extradition to the US was challenged before the the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)