The first Guantanamo Bay detainee to be tried in a civilian court in the U.S. helped buy a Nissan truck used by terrorists to deliver a bomb to the U.S. embassy in Tanzania, a prosecutor told jurors in New York.
Ahmed Ghailani was part of an al-Qaeda cell that wanted to "kill Americans" when it bombed two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Lewin told the federal court jury yesterday, Bloomberg reports.
Ghailani faces 286 federal counts and life in prison if found guilty of the conspiracy to kill Americans. In December 1998, he was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in New York.
In opening statements at the trial before presiding judge Lewis Kaplan, prosecutor Nicholas Lewin said Ghailani was a vital cog in al-Qaeda's plans to kill Americans, and he had purchased the truck and gas tanks used in the 1998 Dar-es-Salaam attack.
"He and his accomplices were committed to Al-Qaeda's overriding goal to kill Americans. We will prove both of these massacres in East Africa were the work of a single Al-Qaeda cell. And this man, Ahmed Ghailani, was a vital part of that cell," he told the court, RTT News reports.