International Terrorism Defendant Sentenced in Manhattan to 25 Years in Prison
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York announced that Adel Abdel Bary, aka “Adel Mohammed Abdul Almagid Abdel Bary,” aka “Abbas,” aka “Abu Dia,” aka “Adel” (Bary), was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to 25 years in prison for his conviction on international terrorism charges in connection with Bary’s work on behalf of al Qaeda and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Bary was extradited to the United States from the United Kingdom on Oct. 6, 2012. On Sept. 19, 2014, Bary pleaded guilty to a three-count superseding Information charging him with one count of conspiring to make a threat to kill, injure, intimidate, and damage and destroy property by means of an explosive, one count of making such a threat, and one count of conspiring to kill U.S. nationals. Bary pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who also imposed today’s sentence.
“Adel Abdel Bary was a member of the London cell of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and worked closely with al Qaeda leadership both before and after the bombings of the U.S Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 to disseminate al Qaeda threats against U.S. citizens and interests around the world,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “This sentence holds him accountable for his key role in facilitating the delivery of al Qaeda’s message to extremists around the world encouraging the commission of violent acts against the United States and its citizens. I commend all of the people who worked on this case over many years in order to reach this result.”
“Adel Abdel Bary occupied important positions in Egyptian Islamic Jihad and al Qaeda,” said U.S. Attorney Bharara. “As he admitted at his plea last September, he facilitated communications by Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders, including publication of the 1998 al Qaeda fatwah to kill Americans, and al Qaeda’s claims of responsibility for the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa. The sentence imposed today reflects the seriousness of Bary’s crimes, his role, and his acceptance of responsibility for them.”
According to the indictment based on which Bary was extradited, the superseding information to which he pleaded, other documents filed in Manhattan federal court, and statements made at Bary’s guilty plea and at today’s sentencing:
In 1997 and 1998, Bary led the London, England, cell of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) organization. EIJ, which was led for years by co-defendant Ayman al Zawahiri, was dedicated to the forceful overthrow of the Egyptian Government and to violent opposition of the United States, in part, for its support of the Government in Egypt. By February 1998, EIJ had effectively merged with al Qaeda and EIJ joined with al Qaeda in targeting American civilians. To that end, in February 1998, indicted co-defendant Usama Bin Laden and Zawahiri endorsed a purported fatwah under the banner of the “International Islamic Front for Jihad on the Jews and Crusaders.” This fatwah stated that Muslims should kill Americans – including civilians – anywhere in the world where they can be found. Then again, on Aug. 4, 1998, EIJ published a statement threatening to retaliate against America for its claimed involvement in the apprehension of EIJ members. A copy of this statement was found in an office used by Bary and his London-based co-conspirators.
While in London, Bary pledged his commitment to pursue the goals of EIJ and to follow the orders of the leadership of the group. Many of the leading members of EIJ became influential members of al Qaeda, including Zawahiri and indicted co-defendant Muhammad Atef, both of whom later sat on the majlis al shura (or consultation council) of al Qaeda. Zawahiri is now the declared leader of al Qaeda.
On Aug. 7, 1998, three days after EIJ published its threat to retaliate against America, al Qaeda operatives bombed the United States Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 224 people. Bary transmitted, via international telephone calls to the media, the contents of al Qaeda’s claims of responsibility for the Aug. 7, 1998, bombings. These claims of responsibility included threats of future terrorist attacks by al Qaeda and its allies, and were sent from London to media organizations in France, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates on Aug. 8, 1998 – the day after the embassy bombings.
In August 1998, both before and after the bombings, Bary additionally arranged for messages to be transmitted from members of the media to his co-conspirators, including Bin Laden and Zawahiri, and conveyed messages from his co-conspirators, including Bin Laden and Zawahiri, to members of the media. Bary also used an office in London, which he shared with co-conspirators, to store documents, including the claims of responsibility described above, as well as for other conduct related to the conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals.
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In addition to his prison term, Bary, 54, was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $33,816,561, including $7,516,561 to victims’ family members for loss of income and $26,300,000 to the United States for property loss.
A co-defendant, Khalid al Fawwaz, aka “Khaled Abdul Rahman Hamad al Fawwaz,” aka “Abu Omar,” aka “Hamad” (Fawwaz), is currently on trial before U.S. District Judge Kaplan. The charges against Fawwaz are merely accusations, and Fawwaz is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Assistant Attorney General Carlin and U.S Attorney Bharara praised the outstanding efforts of the FBI’s New York-based Joint Terrorism Task Force – which principally consists of special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and detectives of the New York City Police Department – as well as the outstanding efforts of the United States Marshals Service, Metropolitan Police Department of London (New Scotland Yard) and the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sean S. Buckley, Adam Fee, Nicholas J. Lewin, and Stephen J. Ritchin of the Southern District of New York’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.