- The Washington Times - Monday, October 22, 2001

Four men responsible for killing 224 persons in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya were sentenced to life imprisonment last week. The jury is to be commended for bringing these men disciples of Osama bin Laden who seem to have no regrets for their actions to justice. Unfortunately, in the time it has taken to sentence them, their indicted accomplices the most prominent of which is bin Laden have been free to cause more death.
In May, when the four were convicted, at least a dozen other men indicted in connection with the embassy bombings were at large. Seven of them, including bin Laden, are now on the FBI and State Department's most-wanted lists. Bin Laden took advantage of his time as a fugitive to attend a convention for 200,000 students from Muslim countries in April, when he urged "the young generation to get ready for the holy war, and to prepare for that in Afghanistan because jihad in this time of crisis for Muslims is an obligation of all Muslims."
At that time, while this page predicted bin Laden wasn't finished with his planned attacks, it also concluded that those Muslims who would heed bin Laden's call "stand warned now that there is a price to be paid … for those who target the United States abroad." Unfortunately, that price was not high enough for those hijackers who had no conscience and no fear of death, and who would not confine their attacks to Americans abroad, as shown by the events of Sept. 11.
While the hijackers' deaths silenced any defense strategy they would advance, the four sentenced Thursday serve as portraits of the shamelessness with which bin Laden's disciples carried out evil: Mohammed Sadeek Odeh, who was the technical adviser for the bombings and a sworn member of al Qaeda, used his time in court to attack the United States for its retaliatory strikes against Afghanistan. He also told investigators after his arrest that he would consider carrying out another bombing against Americans in Saudi Arabia or Tanzania if bin Laden asked him to do so.
Mohamed al-Owhali threw stun grenades to distract the guards at the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, and was on the truck that carried the bombs there. He was supposed to be a "martyr" in the attack, but escaped.
Khalfan Khamis Mohammed had previously trained in bin Laden's camps, and rented a bomb factory in Dar es Salaam, where he helped make the bomb for the Tanzania attack. He allegedly helped stab a guard in the eye while in a New York jail before he was sentenced. Another bin Laden disciple, Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, who was sharing a cell with Mohammed, allegedly made a comb into a knife and plunged it two-and-a-half inches into the guard's skull, causing the loss of his eye, brain damage and partial paralysis. Mohammed is alleged to have assisted in that attack after having killed Americans in Tanzania, and said he would have joined in other attacks on Americans if he could get away with it.
Wadih El-Hage, the only U.S. citizen sentenced, was bin Laden's personal secretary, messenger and fund-raiser. His Brooklyn refugee center served as a front for the Kenyan branch of al Qaeda, and he used Texas as a base to smuggle weapons for al Qaeda. El-Hage used his time in court to praise the group, and to announce he had nothing to apologize for.
These men, and their accomplices at large, have not been true to their faith, their family or their countrymen. Their lack of remorse highlights the depth to which humanity can fall. Godspeed to those who will bring justice to their accomplices and their godfather, Osama bin Laden.

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