Case closed: District court dismisses bin Laden charges after nearly 13 years

New York Southern District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan dismissed all criminal charges Friday against Osama bin Laden, who was killed in Pakistan last month.

Bin Laden had been wanted for more than a decade in New York, where his al-Qaida network twice helped mastermind attacks against the World Trade Center and succeeded in destroying the towers, killing 3,000 people, in 2001. But bin Laden was not charged formally for those crimes.

The case dismissed Friday centered on the twin embassy bombings in 1998 in Tanzania and Kenya, in which 224 people, including 12 Americans, were killed. It includes charges of murder and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against Americans, as well as training operatives.

Other indictments against the al-Qaida leader detail his role in ordering his operatives to provide military training and assistance to Somali tribes opposed to the United Nations intervention there. These al-Qaida trainers-and their trainees-killed 18 U.S. military personnel in an ambush in Mogadishu in 1993.

Bin Laden was later indicted for his role in masterminding the 2000 suicide attack on the Navy destroyer USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden.

"Since 1998… certainly our expectation was that if [bin Laden] could be found -- and there were efforts to find him -- that he would be likely returned to the southern New York for trial on those charges," said Mary Jo White, who was U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York for nearly nine years until 2002.

The dismissal documents, filed nearly seven weeks after the raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, included an affidavit from a senior national security official confirming the al-Qaida leader's death and the steps taken to prove his identity. Overall, it was a simple court proceeding, a paperwork transfer-- and a common practice for all defendants with outstanding charges who die before they can be tried.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.