News / USA

Al-Qaida Suspect Al-Libi Pleads Not Guilty in NY Court

FILE - This file image from the FBI website shows Anas al-Libi, an al-Qaida leader connected to the 1998 embassy bombings in eastern Africa and wanted by the United States for more than a decade.FILE - This file image from the FBI website shows Anas al-Libi, an al-Qaida leader connected to the 1998 embassy bombings in eastern Africa and wanted by the United States for more than a decade.
x
FILE - This file image from the FBI website shows Anas al-Libi, an al-Qaida leader connected to the 1998 embassy bombings in eastern Africa and wanted by the United States for more than a decade.
FILE - This file image from the FBI website shows Anas al-Libi, an al-Qaida leader connected to the 1998 embassy bombings in eastern Africa and wanted by the United States for more than a decade.
Carolyn Weaver
Libyan Al-Qaida suspect Abu Anas al-Libi pleaded not guilty in a New York court on charges linking him to the bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998. 

Al-Libi was snatched off a street in Tripoli by American special forces October 5, and interrogated on an U.S. Navy ship before he was brought to New York a few days ago.
 
Al-Libi, whose real name is Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, has long been under federal indictment for allegedly planning the deadly 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He also is charged with conspiring with Osama bin Laden to attack U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Somalia.
 
Shuffling into a heavily guarded courtroom, the gray-bearded al-Libi appeared weak and looked older than his 49 years. Through an Arabic interpreter he entered a plea of “not guilty” and requested a court-appointed public defender because he cannot afford a private attorney.
 
News reports say al-Libi is suffering from hepatitis, and that his condition worsened aboard the ship when he stopped eating. The judge signed a medical order at the request of attorneys, but no details were released.
 
New York criminal lawyer Ron Kuby, who has defended other terror suspects, noted the government has successfully tried five defendants accused in the embassy bombings.
 
“So the government’s path to conviction is smooth and clear and well-traveled, assuming they have evidence against al-Libi that’s comparable to the evidence against others,” said Kuby.
 
But Kuby said the weeklong interrogation of al-Libi aboard the warship could damage the case - because of rules requiring that someone arrested on a federal criminal indictment be brought before a judge without delay.
 
“The reason is the American observation of regimes where people are simply arrested and held incommunicado for protracted periods of time, is considered inconsistent with liberty and a society that values human rights,” said Kuby.
 
Administration officials maintain that the seizure and interrogation did not constitute a formal arrest, and that al-Libi was not officially put under arrest until October 12.
 
One of the last

Karen Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School, said al-Libi is one of the last of the suspects to face justice for the 1998 bombings. Twenty-one were indicted in the case.
 
“And there are only four outstanding who haven’t been killed or captured, so it brings more closure to that case, which is a central case,” said Greenberg.
 
The greater significance, she said, is that all the trials so far have been in federal court.
 
“So it creates that narrative that our courts can try individuals who have attacked the United States, caused deaths, and can be brought to justice here in our court system and not in a military tribunal,” added Greenberg.
 
In contrast, more than 150 foreign nationals once suspected of terrorism have been held for years in a prison on the U.S. Navy's Guantanamo Bay base. About half have been cleared of suspicion. A handful of others have been tried through military tribunals, but many have neither been brought to trial or released.
 
Al-Libi reportedly was a computer expert and top aide to Osama bin Laden in the early years of al-Qaida. In Libya, however, members of his family deny that he is an al-Qaida member.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs