Father of British suspect in Syria pleads guilty in NY

19th September 2014, Comments 0 comments

An Egyptian man whose British son is reportedly a suspect in the murder of US journalists in Syria, pleaded guilty Friday in New York to playing a role in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Africa.

Adel Abdel Bary, 54, who was extradited to the United States from Britain in October 2012, entered the plea on three counts accusing him of working for Al-Qaeda and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

He pleaded guilty to conspiring to kill US nationals, conspiring to make a threat to kill, injure, intimidate and damage and destroy property by means of an explosive, and making such a threat.

In 1997 and 1998, Bary led the London cell of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization of now Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. The group has now essentially merged with the Al-Qaeda network.

Bary called journalists in Europe and the Middle East to pass on Al-Qaeda's claim of responsibility for the 1998 bombings of US embassies in East Africa that killed 244 people and wounded more than 5,000 others.

The claims included threats of future Al-Qaeda attacks and were sent from London to media organizations in France, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates the day after the embassy bombings.

The August 7, 1998 car bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi killed 213 people and wounded another 5,000.

A near simultaneous truck bomb outside the US mission in Tanzania killed 11 people and wounded 70 more.

Bary also arranged for messages to be transmitted to and from the media and his co-conspirators, including bin Laden and Zawahiri.

The three counts carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Bary has already spent 16 years in British and US custody.

Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said Bary assisted in fomenting and inciting violence and terrorism, and conspiring to kill innocent people, including Americans serving overseas.

"Today he has admitted his guilt, and subject to the further information requested by the judge, awaits the sentence to be imposed by an American civilian court," he said.

Bary's son, London rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, was named in the British media as a possible suspect in the murders of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff in Syria.

Media reports have since suggested that British investigators no longer believe that the rapper is the masked militant.

Friday's plea came two months before Bary was set to go on trial alongside Saudi businessman Khalid al-Fawwaz and Libyan defendant Anas al-Libi in connection with the embassy bombings.

© 2014 AFP

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