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US charges embassy bomb suspect

By BBC| 2008

The US has charged a Guantanamo Bay detainee with war crimes for the 1998 al-Qaeda attack on the US embassy in Tanzania, which left 11 people dead. Charges against Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani - who was captured in 2004 - include murder and attacking civilians. The Pentagon claims Mr Ghailani worked for al-Qaeda after the bombing as a forger, trainer and as a bodyguard for Osama Bin Laden. The Pentagon said Mr Ghailani could receive the death penalty if convicted. Mr Ghailani, a Tanzanian is the 15th person to be charged at Guantanamo, where trials are expected to start later this year. He goes by dozens of aliases, including "Foopie" and "Ahmed the Tanzanian". Al-Qaeda trainer The US defence department says Mr Ghailani's involvement included: - buying explosives, detonators and transporting bomb components to Dar es Salaam - helping buy the lorry used in the attack - escorting the bomb engineer between Dar es Salaam and Mombassa, Kenya, after the bomb had been made - scouting the US embassy with the suicide bomb driver The defence department says that after the bombing, Mr Ghailani "continued in his service to al-Qaeda as a document forger, physical trainer at an al-Qaeda training camp, and as a bodyguard for Osama Bin Laden". According to the transcript of a closed-door hearing in March 2007, Mr Ghailani admitted delivering explosives used to blow up the embassy. But he said he did not know about the attack beforehand and apologised to the US government and the victims' families. The charges must be approved by a Pentagon official who oversees the court at Guantanamo before trial proceedings can begin.

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