NEW YORK – Federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty against at least one defendant in the deadly bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Pending approval from U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, the U.S. attorney's office will seek the death penalty against Mohamed Rashed Daoud al-'Owhali for his alleged role in the 1998 bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the Times reported, citing anonymous defense lawyers.
The lawyers said it appeared likely the death penalty would also be sought against two other defendants, Mohamed Sadeek Odeh and Khalfan Khamis Mohamed.
The bombings killed 224 people, including 12 Americans. All three men are charged with conspiracy to murder.
Al-'Owhali, the first suspect brought to New York from Africa after the bombings, acknowledged that he rode in the truck that carried a massive bomb to the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi and that the bombing was intended as a "martyrdom operation," according to federal charges.
The lead defendant in the terrorism case is Osama bin Laden, a Saudi exile believed to be in Afghanistan. He and 16 others are charged in an indictment with conspiracy to kill Americans. Six are in custody in the United States and three overseas.