USIS Washington 

27 August 1998


(Praises international cooperation in his apprehension) (1840)

Washington -- Louis Freeh, Director of the US Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI), has praised "the extraordinary cooperation,
assistance and professionalism of the Kenyan and Tanzanian law
enforcement authorities" that culminated in the arrest and extradition
to the United States for trial of Daoud Al-Owhali, a prime suspect in
the US Embassy bombing in Nairobi, Kenya.

"Seldom has such an international effort been so productive so
quickly," Freeh said in a statement at an August 27 Justice Department
news conference.

"From our perspective this stands out as a shining example not only of
the importance of international law enforcement in the face of the
global threat of terrorism but also of the immediate benefit that
flows from true international cooperation, that cop-to-cop cooperation
on the ground, at the scene of these horrendous crimes," Freeh said.

The FBI Director said the suspect, Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-Owhali, was
trained in camps run by an organization affiliated with terrorist
financeer Usama bin Ladin.

Following is his statement as prepared for delivery:

(begin text)


AUGUST 27, 1998

Director Louis J. Freeh of the Federal Bureau of Investigation today
issued the following statement:

Today we are announcing that Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-Owhali has been
brought to the United States to face charges in connection with the
deadly terrorist bombing at the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Joining
me here today are Attorney General Janet Reno, Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright, National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, and Mary
Jo White, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Each
has brief comments both about the significance of today's events
relative to the security of the United States and about the
international cooperation that made today possible.

Before we begin I would like to express special gratitude on behalf of
the FBI and all American law enforcement for the extraordinary
cooperation, assistance and professionalism of the Kenyan and
Tanzanian law enforcement authorities. Seldom has such an
international effort been so productive so quickly. From our
perspective this stands out as a shining example not only of the
importance of international law enforcement in the face of the global
threat of terrorism but also of the immediate benefit that flows from
true international cooperation, the cop-to-cop cooperation on the
ground, at the scene of these horrendous crimes.

FBI Special Agents have brought the defendant from Kenya to New York
City. A complaint unsealed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan a short
time ago charged him with: murdering 12 Americans at the Embassy;
conspiracy to commit murder; and conspiracy to use weapons of mass
destruction in the bombing that killed over 250 persons, most of them

The complaint stated that the defendant was taken into custody by
Kenyan officials, advised of his Miranda rights by FBI Special Agents,
waived those rights, and then made this statement: "That he was
trained in a number of camps in Afghanistan, including a number of
camps affiliated with al Qaeda, an international terrorist group, led
by Usama Bin Ladin, dedicated to opposing non-Islamic governments with
force and violence."

The defendant stated he was trained in explosives, hijacking, and
kidnapping, the complaint said. It also said the defendant stated he
attended conferences, meetings and a press conference with bin Ladin,
and was aware bin Ladin had signed a "fatwah" stating "it was proper
to kill Americans worldwide."

The complaint said the defendant travelled with a co-conspirator to
the Embassy on the day of the bombing in a vehicle containing an
improvised explosive device, "...tossing a grenade-like device (which
did not include fragmentation casing) at a guard stationed at the
Embassy." It added: "The defendant also stated that the operation was
supposed to be a martyrdom operation, which he did not expect to

In addition, the complaint noted that because an FBI Special Agent
submitted a sworn affidavit "for the limited purpose of establishing
probable cause supporting the arrest of the defendant," the court
filing does not include all facts learned during the course of the

Although the initial arrest indicates substantial progress in the 20
days since the bombing in Kenya, we are still at the initial stages of
a far-reaching international investigation. I stress that the charges
against the defendant are at this point only charges, that there is a
presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and that all of his
legal and Constitutional rights will be fully protected. The rule of
law is being upheld completely, by both the United States and Kenya.

The charges against the defendant were an excellent example of Federal
and international cooperation. We deeply appreciate the splendid work
of Kenyan authorities as well as the assistance of Tanzania and other
governments. While the toll of Americans killed and injured in Kenya
and Tanzania was tragic, we must remember that those two countries
suffered even greater losses. The casualties in Kenya included over
250 persons killed, including 12 Americans, and more than 5,000
injured, including 13 Americans. In Tanzania, no Americans were killed
but the death toll included 11 residents of that nation, and 86 were
injured, including two Americans.

All three countries share grave losses. The suffering of Kenya and
Tanzania was enormous, and they have our deepest sympathy and
compassion. All three nations stand together in our efforts to bring
those responsible to justice. We owe a debt of gratitude to the law
enforcement officials of both African nations and to their Ambassadors
to the United States: Ambassador Samson Kipkoech Chemai of Kenya,
represented here today by his military attache, Colonel Maurice Otieno
Oyugi, and Ambassador Mustafa Salim Nyang'anyi of Tanzania, who is
also present here. Last week, I visited both Kenya and Tanzania
shortly after the bombings. I conferred at length with law enforcement
officials of both countries as well as with officials of their Justice
and Interior departments. We reached a decision, to send this
defendant to stand trial in the United States.

I worked closely with the leaders of the FBI teams in both nations --
an FBI force that eventually totaled nearly 500 persons. They included
more than 400 Special Agents and specialists -- evidence experts, bomb
technicians, and forensic and scientific personnel. There also was a
cadre of skilled support employees.

There has been superb cooperation by all parts of the Federal
government -- including the State Department, Defense Department,
Central Intelligence Agency, other parts of the intelligence
community, the office of the National Security Advisor, and the FBI.
Special notes of appreciation go to Secretary of Defense William Cohen
and to George Tenet, the Director of Central Intelligence.

The Department of Defense has performed superbly in every way as a
full partner in this complex investigation, and the successes to date
could not have been achieved without its selfless and dedicated work.
This investigation is also another example of the exceptionally close
ties forged between the CIA and FBI on a broad range of the most
important cases and issues. FBI Special Agents work in the CIA
Counter-Terrorism Center, and CIA Agents work in the FBI
Counter-Terrorism Section. The results include the extradition from
other countries of persons charged in the World Trade Center bombing
in New York and the attack on the CIA Headquarters -- and their
subsequent convictions.

In Kenya and Tanzania, I met with the regional security personnel
assigned to both American embassies and I cannot find words to
adequately express the FBI's appreciation to the Department of State
for its assistance and cooperation.

I also wish to thank the FBI's New York Joint Terrorism Task Force for
its work at the crime scenes, including outstanding efforts by New
York City Police Department detectives, many of whom also greatly
aided the FBI in the investigations of the bombings of the World Trade
Center and the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. I also want to thank
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms of the Treasury Department
for its support.

The FBI is grateful to the Congress and the Administration for their
depth of vision in helping to formulate and fund growing
anti-terrorism efforts. For the FBI, Congress has more than doubled
the number of positions and more than tripled the funding for domestic
anti-terrorism programs in the past four years. While budgets for
international terrorism programs are classified for security reasons,
Congress has been equally far-sighted in this area.

One example is the expansion of the FBI's Legal Attache program --
Special Agents stationed abroad to work jointly with foreign
governments against crimes that threaten Americans in other nations or
threaten to invade the United States. The program is modest in size
and cost but has produced remarkable dividends. The first FBI Special
Agents on the scene at the two recent Embassy bombings in Eastern
Africa were from Legal Attache offices in Egypt and South Africa. The
FBI is certain the Senate and House will continue all aspects of its
pattern of support for law enforcement efforts in foreign countries in
the future.

All parts of the government know that terrorism means the murder of
Americans, and that this crisis must be diminished and then
eliminated. All parts of the Federal government are deeply committed
to fighting terrorism, whether in the U.S. or abroad. The need for
cooperation by all law-abiding nations against international terrorism
and crime has never been greater. All law-abiding peoples benefit
enormously from constant vigilance.

Within the FBI, Assistant Directors Lewis Schiliro of the New York
Field Office and J.C. Carter of the Washington Field Office are
performing particularly valuable leadership roles in the
investigations of the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. There
also are outstanding contributions by Thomas J. Pickard, Assistant
Director in charge of the Criminal Investigative Division; John F.
Lewis, Assistant Director in charge of the National Security Division;
and Dr. Donald M. Kerr, Assistant Director in charge of the Laboratory

Excellent work is being performed by Dale L. Watson, Deputy Assistant
Director of the National Security Division; Special Agent in
Charge-National Security Sheila W. Horan of the Washington Field
Office, who is supervising FBI operations in Kenya; her deputy in
Kenya, Assistant Special Agent in Charge- National Security Joseph
Billy; Jr., of the New York Field Office; Kenneth R. Piernick,
Assistant Special Agent in Charge-National Security of the Washington
Field Office, who is supervising FBI operations in Tanzania; and Roger
Allen Nisley, Special Agent in charge of the Critical Incident
Response Group.

Great credit also goes to hundreds of FBI Special Agents, including
the Hostage Rescue Team and Swat Teams from a number of FBI Field
offices who have performed superbly. And the man and women at the FBI
Operations Center at our Headquarters in Washington have worked day
and night since the bombings. This concludes my remarks and I would
now like to introduce Attorney General Janet Reno.

(end text)