Fax links London pair to bombings

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The Independent Online
FINGERPRINT EVIDENCE links two men arrested in London with the bombing of two US embassies in Africa, allegedly masterminded by the international terrorist suspect Mr Osama bin Laden, a court heard yesterday.

An extradition hearing was told that the fingerprints of Ibrahim Hussein Eidarous and Adel Mohanned Abdul Bary were found on faxes claiming responsibility for the bombings. The men, both Egyptian nationals, were arrested on Saturday on a US extradition warrant.

Bow Street Magistrates were told that the men conspired with Mr bin Laden and others to murder citizens of the US. More than 220 people were killed and hundreds injured when bombs destroyed the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania last August.

Yesterday Arvinder Sambi, of the Crown Prosecution Service, acting on behalf of the US Government, said faxes claiming responsibility arrived at a fax shop and a Post Office in London. She told the court copies were found at the offices of The Advice and Reform Council, allegedly a front for the terrorist organisation Al Quadea - Arabic for The Leadership - in London. It was bent on Jihad - Holy War - against the US and the West, partly in revenge for the Gulf War.

"Mr Eidarous's fingerprints were found on the claims of responsibility and were found prior to the bombings. Mr Bary's fingerprints were on the fax that was sent," said Ms Sambi.

Ms Sambi also said that Mr Eidarous, 42, and Mr Bary, 39, were members of Al Quadea, Mr bin Laden's international council. "The council would have discussed and approved any major operations including terrorist attacks," she said.

"Al Quadea specifically targeted the US for a number of reasons. They regarded the US as the infidel." But lawyers acting for the two men said they had been the victims of a "Kafkaesque abuse of power" by the US. Presiding magistrate Graham Parkinson, said he was concerned enough by the claims to order the men be remanded for just one week, rather than the month requested by the prosecution.

Mr bin Laden has been placed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's 10 Most Wanted List. A reward of $5m (pounds 3.5m) has been offered for information leading to his arrest.

Five other defendants accused of involvement in the bombing are being held in New York. Two suspects are charged with more than 200 counts of murder in the bombings.

Another suspect, the Saudi national Khaled Al Fawwaz, is fighting extradition to the United States from Britain.

Mr bin Laden has denied any role in the attacks against Americans.