CAIRO (AP) – Abu Anas al-Libi, a man accused by federal prosecutors of being an al-Qaeda member involved in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, died of complication from liver surgery, his wife said Saturday. He was 49.
US forces raided Libya in 2013 and seized him in the streets of the capital, Tripoli, bringing him back to America to stand trial in New York. On Saturday, his wife, Um Abdullah, told The Associated Press that the experience only worsened his ailments, including hepatitis C, leading to his death.
“I accuse the American government of kidnapping, mistreating, and killing an innocent man. He did nothing,” Abdullah said.
Federal authorities had no immediate comment. Al-Libi’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a message for comment.
Al-Libi, also known as Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, was indicted more than a decade ago in US federal court of being involved in the twin 1998 bombings at the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people, including a dozen Americans.
Al-Libi was once on the FBI’s list of most wanted terrorists for his alleged involvement in the bombings. He had pleaded not guilty and was awaiting trial.
In December 2013, Bernard Kleinman, an attorney for al-Libi, said his client was only accused of participating in visual and photographic surveillance of the US embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, in late 1993 and researching potential sites for other attacks with members of al-Qaeda in 1994.
On Saturday, al-Libi’s wife said her husband underwent liver surgery three weeks ago, went into a coma and was moved prematurely back to prison where he suffered complications.
His wife said that she spoke to al-Libi last time from prison on Thursday.
“His voice was weak and he was in a bad condition,” she said. “It seems they didn’t keep him for enough time in hospital.”
On Friday, she said a lawyer told her that al-Libi returned to hospital where he was placed on a ventilator, and “he was dying then”.