Remembering the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that introduced the world to al-Qaeda

Mildred Europa Taylor August 07, 2018
Bombing in Kenya in 1998 ---

Two East African countries, Kenya and Tanzania, are marking 20 years since the 1998 US embassy bombings that brought the world’s attention to the activities of the terrorist organization, al-Qaeda, for the first time.

At around 10.30 a.m. on August 7, 1998, a massive truck bomb exploded outside the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.

After a few minutes, another truck bomb detonated outside the U.S. embassy in Dar es Salaam, the then capital of neighbouring Tanzania.

The two attacks killed 224 people, and injured around 4,500, with most of the victims being Africans.

1998 US embassy bombings — Crime Scene Database

Following the unfortunate occurrence, the world received first knowledge about Saudi exile and al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, three years before the infamous September 11 attacks in New York.

Bin Laden, who has been noted for being a proponent of international terrorism against America, was accused by the U.S. of masterminding the bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

Osama bin Laden — New York Post

In November 1998, bin Laden and 21 others were indicted by the U.S. and charged with bombing the two U.S. embassies and conspiring to commit other acts of terrorism against Americans abroad.

To date, nine of the al Qaeda members named in the indictments have been captured. According to records, six are in the United States, and three are in Britain fighting extradition to the United States.

The U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania have since sent out condolatory messages to the victims of the attacks.

The dual massive bombings, meanwhile, have since shaped how people and their respective countries think about their security and safety.


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