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Homeland Security

East African Embassy Bombings

Suicide Attack

East African Embassy BombingsEast African Embassy BombingsEast African Embassy Bombings

Event Details
Primary OrganizationAl-Qaeda
Other OrganizationEast Africa Embassy Bombers
Means of AttackTruck bombs
TargetAmerican embassies
LocationU.S. Embassy, Nairobi, Kenya
Additional LocationU.S. Embassy, 36 Laibon Road, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Start Time1030 local, Aug. 7, 1998
End Time1039 local, Aug. 7, 1998
Victim Deaths225 or 3031,2
Victim Injuries5100
Attacker Deaths2
ParticipantsOsama bin Laden (Organizer) , Mohammed Atef (Facilitator) , Ayman al-Zawahiri (Facilitator) , Saif al-Adel (Facilitator) , Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah (Operational Commander) , Mamdouh Mahmud Salim (Facilitator) , Wadih El Hage (Facilitator) , Azzam (Suicide Bomber) , Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, Mustafa Mohammed Fadhil, Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, Mohamed Sadeek Odeh, Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-Owhali (Attacker) , Fahid Mohammed Ally Msalam, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, Hamden Khalif Allah Awad (Suicide Bomber) , Mushin Musa Matwalli Atwah, Ahmed Mohammed Hamed Ali
Narrative and Notes
ReliableIn a strike that marked al-Qaeda's entrance into worldwide notoriety, suicide terrorists detonated vehicle-borne bombs almost simultaneously at two American embassies in Africa.

Though the attacks were on U.S. facilities, only twelve U.S. citizens were killed. Most of the dead were Kenyans, as the bombers in Tanzania were unable to penetrate the embassy's security perimeter.

The attacks marked on trademark al-Qaeda tactic: to conduct multiple, simultaneous attacks at different locations.

The U.S. learned of al-Qaeda's complicity first after the detention, in Pakistan, of Mohamed Sadeek Odeh on the day of the attacks. Odeh identified several major players in the plot.
PossibleBizarrely, there is a disparity in U.S. government reports regarding how many were killed in Nairobi, and casualty totals for both bombings also omit a man missing and long presumed dead at the Dar Es Salaam bombing. The FBI says 213 died at Nairobi, plus 12 at Tanzania, for a total of 225. Some State Department publications put the number of dead at Nairobi at 291, plus 12 at Tanzania, for a total of 303.
1U.S. State Department. 'Patterns of Global Terrorism.' 1998.
2See narrative on disparity in casualties reported.
Photos (left to right): FBI (Kenya), FBI (Kenya), U.S. State Department (Tanzania)
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Page last modified: 01-11-2006 17:52:13 ZULU