Ex-bin Laden secretary gets life for 1998 embassy bombings

By REUTERS
April 24, 2013 03:07

NEW YORK - A former personal secretary to Osama bin Laden was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday, for the second time, for participating in a conspiracy to kill Americans that included the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in Africa.

Wadih El-Hage, a Lebanese-born US citizen and former al-Qaida member, was one of four people convicted in 2001 for their roles in bombings of embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people and injured thousands.

El-Hage, 52, was convicted in 2001 on charges including conspiring to kill US nationals and destroy government-owned buildings, in addition to multiple counts of perjury. He was re-sentenced on Tuesday after a prior life term was reversed in 2008 and sent back to the district court.

His lawyers sought leniency. But in handing down the new sentence, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan cited El-Hage's lack of remorse and the likelihood the man he termed a "committed terrorist" would resume his activities if released.

"It is necessary to deter others," Kaplan said. "It is necessary to prevent you from resuming terrorist activities."


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