Government seeks max 25 years in prison for Egyptian lawyer

An Egyptian lawyer who admits spreading terrorist threats after the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies should be sentenced to the maximum 25 years in prison under a plea deal he reached last year, government lawyers say while his lawyers have urged a judge to take into account his repudiation of violence.

Adel Abdul Bary is set to be sentenced Friday in Manhattan federal court, where he entered a surprise plea to conspiracy charges in September. Prior to his plea, a conviction at trial could have resulted in a life prison term for his role in a conspiracy that resulted in the August 1998 bombings in Tanzania and Kenya that killed 224 people, including a dozen Americans.


Prosecutors say in court papers that he deserves the maximum sentence after admitting he disseminated claims of responsibility and threats of future attacks after the bombings. They called him an associate of al-Qaida.

The government said correspondence recovered from locations in London show that Bary after the bombings continued to act as a "conduit for communications" between the media and his co-conspirators, including al-Qaida's then leader, Osama bin Laden.

Prosecutors said Bary was in London when the embassies were bombed.

"While there is no evidence, to the government's knowledge, that Bary assisted in the bombings themselves, or counseled, commanded, induced or procured the bombings, there is ample evidence to support a finding that he reasonably could have foreseen that death would result from the conspiracies in which he was an active participant," prosecutors said.

In a letter to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, Bary said he had repeatedly spoken out against those who advocate the use of violence and had written that threats against the West and the United States were wrong.

In his letter, written in Arabic and translated for the judge, Bary admitted he supported Al-Jihad, an extremist group that fought the regime of ex-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in the 1990s with a wave of bombings and other attacks that also targeted foreign tourists.

"If I could go back in time, I would never have helped the al-Jihad group with actions such as facilitating communications knowing now that innocent people could possibly have been harmed as a result. For this I am truly and deeply sorry," Bary said.

Bary was arrested in connection with the bombings in September 1998 by United Kingdom authorities and again in July 1999, when he was charged by U.S. prosecutors. He was extradited to New York in October 2012.

His plea deal says he can be credited with the 15 years he has already served and can serve the remainder of his term in another country.

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