Saudi Man Convicted of Conspiracy in '98 U.S. Embassy Bombings

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NEW YORK (AP) -- A man described as one of al-Qaida's early leaders has been convicted of conspiracy in the deadly bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

A New York City federal jury returned the verdict Thursday in the case against Khaled al-Fawwaz. The monthlong trial delved into al-Qaida's early days.

Prosecutors portrayed the Saudi Arabian al-Fawwaz as a close confidant of Osama bin Laden. They said al-Fawwaz led an al-Qaida Afghanistan training camp in the early 1990s before helping a terrorist cell in Kenya.

The government said he became bin Laden's link to Western journalists before the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The attacks killed 224 people, including a dozen Americans.

Defense lawyers said al-Fawwaz was a peace-minded dissident dismayed by bin Laden's turn toward violence.