Saudi suspect in 1996 anti-US bombing arrested

2015-08-26 20:07

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Riyadh - A key suspect in the bombing of a housing complex in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 US airmen almost two decades ago, has been captured, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Ahmad Ibrahim al-Mughassil, who is wanted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, is said to be the head of the Saudi Hezbollah's military wing, an outlawed organisation whose members are drawn from the kingdom's Shi'ite Muslim community.

The 48-year-old was detained in Beirut and sent to Saudi Arabia, where he is being interrogated, the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat daily said, quoting unnamed officials.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Saudi authorities.

The powerful bomb blast in June 1996, which also wounded more than 370 people, destroyed part of the eight-storey Khobar Towers in the eastern Saudi town of Dhahran.

US prosecutors have said Mughassil drove the explosives-laden truck and parked it outside the military compound.

The newspaper did not say when or how he was captured, but reported he had been "disguised in a way that made identifying him difficult".

The FBI has offered a reward of up to $5m for information leading directly to his apprehension or conviction.

The Khobar Towers dormitory complex housed US, British, French and Saudi military personnel attached to the nearby King Abdul Aziz airbase.

In a separate case, a court in the Red Sea city of Jeddah jailed another Saudi for nine years on a conviction of spreading extremist and "terrorist" ideology on Twitter, the Al-Riyadh daily reported on Wednesday.

He was also found guilty of calling for protests to demand the release of detainees held in cases linked to "national security" matters, it said, without identifying him.

Read more on:    saudi arabia

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