US Drops Criminal Charges Against bin Laden

Posted June 17th, 2011 at 2:55 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. authorities have dropped criminal charges against Osama bin Laden following his death in a U.S. raid last month.

Federal prosecutors filed court papers Friday to dismiss a 1998 indictment that charged bin Laden in the bombings that year of two U.S. embassies in East Africa. The attacks in Tanzania and Kenya killed 224 people. The al-Qaida leader had faced several charges for his involvement, including conspiracy to kill Americans.

He also was charged for the deadly 1993 ambush of U.S. soldiers in Somalia.

None of the charges against bin Laden involved the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Indictments are traditionally dismissed when defendants die.

The U.S. has also indicted other al-Qaida members, including Ayman al-Zawahri, who has become the terrorist network's new leader.

U.S. forces killed bin Laden on May 2 in a raid on his compound in Pakistan.

In Friday's court papers, a U.S. Justice Department official said DNA, facial recognition technology and one of bin Laden's wives had confirmed bin Laden's identity after his death.