U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft says the life prison terms given to four men convicted of carrying out the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa send a strong message to other would-be terrorists.
The nation's top law enforcement official says he welcomes the life sentences handed down by a federal judge in New York and says terrorists around the world should take note. "Today's sentence sends a message the United States will hunt terrorists down and will make them pay the price for their evil acts of terrorism," he said.
The attorney general says 13 people are still being sought in connection with the embassy bombings. Their names are included on a special most wanted terrorist list that includes a reward of up to five million dollars for information leading to their capture.
Mr. Ashcroft also says he is pleased congressional negotiators have agreed on a final version of legislation designed to help law enforcement officials crack down on suspected terrorist cells in the United States. "This legislation, once passed and signed into law, will immediately increase our capacity to detect, to disrupt and to prevent acts of terrorism," he said.
Congress is expected to approve the legislation next week. It includes measures that make it easier for the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to monitor the telephone calls of suspected terrorists and encourages the sharing of information about suspects with various U-S intelligence agencies.