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Saudi Man Convicted Of Conspiracy In 1998 U.S. Embassy Bombings

Khalid al-Fawwaz, a Saudi man who the U.S. says was Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant in Britain, has been convicted on all four conspiracy charges tied to the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

The AP reports that Al-Fawwaz's trial started a month ago in a fortified courthouse in New York. The trial focused on al-Qaida's early days. The AP adds:

"Al-Fawwaz stood expressionless as the verdict was read, pursing his lips briefly. He could face life in prison.

"Prosecutors said al-Fawwaz, a 52-year-old Saudi Arabian, was a close confidant of Osama bin Laden and made sure bin Laden's death threats against Americans were heard and noticed worldwide in 1998.

"Al-Fawwaz led an al-Qaida Afghanistan training camp in the early 1990s, helped a terrorist cell in Kenya and schemed with bin Laden to open a media information office in London, where al-Fawwaz became bin Laden's link to journalists in the West before the August 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, prosecutors said. The attacks killed 224 people, including a dozen Americans."

This case dates back to the late '90s, when the U.S. asked Britain to extradite Al-Fawwaz to the United States.

Britain ruled in favor of extradition in December of 2001. But the case ended up in the hands of Europe's human rights court, because al-Fawwaz's lawyers argued that the super-max prisons where he was going to be held would violate human rights. Ultimately, in April of 2012,the court decided in favor of the United States and al-Fawwaz was transferred to New York to stand trial.

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.