Former Al-Qaeda spokesman living in £1m house in London: Report

Former Al-Qaeda spokesman living in £1m house in London: Report
Adel Abdel Bary, 60, seen here in a court sketch, was convicted of terror offenses for his role in Al-Qaeda’s 1998 attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. (Reuters)
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Updated 11 January 2021

Former Al-Qaeda spokesman living in £1m house in London: Report

Former Al-Qaeda spokesman living in £1m house in London: Report
  • Adel Abdel Bary, jailed in US over 1998 embassy bombings, was released early due to health concerns
  • Abdel Bary and his family are now living in a £1 million house paid for by the local council in Maida Vale, northwest London

LONDON: A former spokesman for Al-Qaeda who worked closely with the group’s late leader Osama bin Laden is now living freely in London after being released early from a US jail due to the high COVID-19 risk posed by his weight and asthma, Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper reported on Monday.

Egyptian national Adel Abdel Bary, 60, was jailed in the US for 25 years over the 1998 attacks on American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people.

He was released three years early and returned to the UK after it was deemed that his obesity and asthma put him at high risk from COVID-19.

Abdel Bary and his family are now living in a £1 million ($1.3 million) house paid for by the local council in Maida Vale, northwest London, the Daily Mail reported.

The newspaper added that he had been spotted walking around the local area and looked to be in good health, despite his lawyers citing his ill health as an “extraordinary and compelling” reason for “compassionate” early release.

The lawyer for the father of six has claimed that Abdel Bary wants to live a quiet life with his family now that he has finished his sentence.

But Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper reported that his activity is likely to be closely scrutinized by the state for a number of years, and security measures will have to be put in place for his safety.

Abdel Bary was granted asylum from Egypt in Britain in 1991, and soon after he arrived he established a terrorist cell that later merged with Al-Qaeda.

He was arrested in 1999 for transmitting Al-Qaeda’s claims of responsibility for the 1998 embassy bombings to the media, and was later extradited to the US, where he faced trial.

He was charged with 285 offenses by an American court but pleaded guilty to just a handful, including threatening to kill by means of explosive and conspiracy to murder US citizens abroad.

The judge overseeing his case said the 25-year sentence was the result of an “enormously generous plea bargain.”

Abdel Bary is the father of convicted Daesh terrorist Abdel-Majed Abdel, who was arrested in Spain after traveling to Syria, where he posed with the severed head of a government soldier. Abdel has been stripped of his British citizenship for fighting for the terrorist group.


China rescuers drill new ‘lifelines’ to trapped gold miners

China rescuers drill new ‘lifelines’ to trapped gold miners
Updated 19 January 2021

China rescuers drill new ‘lifelines’ to trapped gold miners

China rescuers drill new ‘lifelines’ to trapped gold miners
  • Twenty-two workers have been stuck 540 meters underground near Yantai in east China’s Shandong province

BEIJING: Chinese rescuers drilled several fresh holes Tuesday to reach at least 12 gold miners trapped underground for nine days, as dwindling food supplies and rising waters threatened their survival.
Twenty-two workers have been stuck 540 meters (1,750 feet) underground at the Hushan mine near Yantai in east China’s Shandong province after an explosion damaged the entrance.
After days without any signs of life, some of the trapped miners managed to send up a note attached to a metal wire which rescuers had dropped into the mine on Sunday.
Pleading for help, the handwritten message said a dozen of them were alive but surrounded by water and in need of urgent medical supplies.
Several of the miners were injured, the note said.
A subsequent phone call with the miners revealed 11 were in one location 540 meters below the surface with another – apparently alone – trapped a further 100 meters down.
The whereabouts and condition of the other 10 miners is still unknown.
Rescuers have already dug three channels and sent food, medicine, paper and pencils down thin shafts – lifelines to the miners cut into the earth.
But progress was slow, according to Chen Fei, a top city official.
“The surrounding rock near the ore body is mostly granite... that is very hard, resulting in slow progress of rescue,” Chen told reporters on Monday evening.
“There is a lot of water in the shaft that may flow into the manway and pose a danger to the trapped workers.”
Chen said the current food supply was only enough for two days.
Rescuers drilled three more channels on Tuesday, according to a rescue map published on the Yantai government’s official twitter-like Weibo account.
A telephone connection has also been set up.
Footage from state broadcaster CCTV showed dozens of rescuers clearing the main return shaft, while cranes and a massive bore-hole drill was used to dig new rescue channels to reach the trapped miners.
Rescue teams lost precious time since it took more than a day for the accident to be reported, China Youth daily reported citing provincial authorities.
Both the local Communist Party secretary and mayor have been sacked over the 30-hour delay and an official investigation is under way to determine the cause of the explosion.
Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and regulations are often weakly enforced.
In December, 23 workers died after being stuck underground in the southwestern city of Chongqing, just months after 16 others died from carbon monoxide poisoning after being trapped underground at another coal mine in the city.