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Jury Convicts Saudi Man in Connection with 1998 US Embassy Bombings

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2012 courtroom drawing, seated from left, defense attorney Sabrina Shroff, defendants Kahlid al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary and attorney Andrew Patel appear before a judge in Manhattan federal court in New York.

A Saudi man accused of being an early leader of al-Qaida has been convicted in connection with the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in east Africa.

Kahlid al-Fawwaz, 52, was convicted on four counts of conspiracy Thursday by a jury in New York.

Al-Fawwaz was not accused of helping to plan the bombings. Instead, prosecutors said that ahead of the attacks, he disseminated Osama bin Laden's declarations of war to the news media in London. They said that earlier, he operated an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan and a terrorist cell in Kenya.

Defense lawyers said their client was a peaceful dissident who shared bin Laden's goal of reform in Saudi Arabia but opposed his drift toward violence.

The August 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killed 224 people.

Al-Fawwaz was arrested in London in 1998 and extradited to the United States in 2002. He was scheduled to be tried with a co-defendant, Abu Anas al-Libi, but al-Libi died last month after a long illness.

Al-Fawwaz faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Some material for this report came from AP.