A long-time suspected al-Qaeda operative alleged to have helped plan the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa arrived in New York Saturday and is expected to be arraigned on terrorism charges in U.S. civilian court Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has confirmed.
Abu Anas al-Liby was captured by U.S. forces in an Oct. 5 operation in the Libyan capital Tripoli before being interrogated for a week aboard the USS San Antonio in the Mediterranean. Rights groups claim interrogations at sea have now become Washington’s preferred method for skirting a defendant’s right to have an attorney present during questioning.
According to court documents, the Associated Press reports, al-Liby’s involvement in al-Qaeda dates back to the early days of the organization, when he was a computer expert for the group who assembled surveillance photos of the American embassy in Kenya that Osama bin-Laden then allegedly used to plan the attack.
The family of al-Liby, whose real name is Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, denies he is a member of al-Qaeda. His arrest prompted a political crisis in Libya and even led to the temporary abduction of the country’s Prime Minister by a militia angered by the American operation.