Alleged al Qaeda operative dies days before his Manhattan trial, family says

Posted at 9:24 AM, Jan 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-03 09:25:27-05

(CNN/AP) — Abu Anas al Libi, an alleged al Qaeda operative accused of involvement in the bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa that killed more than 200 people, and who was captured by U.S. special forces in Libya, has died in a U.S. hospital, his son said Saturday.

Abdel Mouin told CNN by phone from Tripoli that the family was notified by his lawyer in the United States that al Libi, whose real name was Nazih al-Ruqaii, died in a hospital Friday evening.

The 50-year-old native of Libya was accused of playing a role in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The two bombings killed 224 people, including 12 Americans, and injured thousands more. His federal trial was to begin Jan. 12 in Manhattan.

Mouin told CNN his father’s health had deteriorated since U.S. Army Delta Force soldiers snatched him from outside his family home in Tripoli in October 2013.

Mouin said his father, who suffered from advanced hepatitis C, had been in a hospital in a coma before his death. He said his father had also developed liver cancer since his capture.

The family holds the U.S. government “fully responsible” for what happened to the man they call al-Ruqaii, Mouin said.

Mouin earlier had said that the family had urged the U.S. authorities to allow them to visit al Libi, but that those requests had been denied.

Al Libi was indicted in 2001 by the federal court in the Southern District of New York on charges of conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals, murder, destruction of American buildings and government property and destruction of national defense utilities of the United States.

His wife said at the time of his capture that he was no longer a member of al Qaeda, had been living a normal life and was seeking a job with the Libyan oil ministry.