New York, NY, United States (4E) – Al Qaeda member Abu Anas al Libi pleaded not guilty to charges of terrorism before a Manhattan, New York City courtroom on Tuesday.
The 49-year-old Libi, who was snatched by U.S. Army Delta Force in Tripoli, Libya 10 days ago, made the plea with the help of an Arabic translator before Judge Lewis Kaplan. He is being counseled by a public defender. Kaplan granted prosecutors’ request to keep Libi under custody for being a “flight risk.”
Libi, whose real name is Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, was indicted in 1998 for the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 244 people, including a dozen Americans. Jamal Ahmed al-Fadl and L’Houssaine Kherchtou, both al Qaeda members who were accused and tried in 2001 for their roles in the bombings, implicated Libi in the terror strikes.
Fadl testified in the trial that Libi was a computer engineer in al Qaeda while Kherchtou said the Libyan was in Nairobi in 1993 to take photos of the Kenyan capital.
Libi was arrested in London in 1999 but released due to insufficient evidence. He was no longer in his Manchester apartment when he was indicted in the U.S. and the FBI put him in the most wanted list with a $5 million bounty for his capture.