August 7, 1998, marks the date for al-Qaeda’s first attack on the West when extremists set off two car bombs at the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. Moreover, as the attack was considered a direct threat against the United States, it did not take long for the FBI to get involved. Paramount+’s ‘FBI True: The Rise of al-Qaeda’ chronicles the horrific attack and portrays how the FBI began closing in on a suspect named Mohammed Sadiq Odeh. Well, let’s delve into the details surrounding the case and find out where Mohammed Sadiq Odeh is at present, shall we?
Who Is Mohammed Sadiq Odeh?
Although not much is known about Mohammed Sadiq Odeh’s early life, sources claimed his childhood was quite challenging, which ultimately pushed him towards joining the al-Qaeda or Mujahedeen. From quite a young age, the Mujahedeen filled Mohammed’s mind with their fanatical beliefs, which made the terrorist almost eager to give up his life in the service of his religion. Besides, the terrorist organization also trained Mohammed in military techniques, familiarizing him with firearms and explosives.
At the time of the 1998 bombings, Mohammed was a member of the East Africa al-Qaida cell in Nairobi and was directly involved in the planning. In fact, many believe he was responsible for providing inside information to the terrorists and overseeing the construction of the massive explosive devices. However, al-Qaeda did not single him out as a suicide bomber yet, as he was asked to fly out of the country on a plane to Pakistan shortly before the bombings. On August 7, 1998, two crudely made truck bombs exploded right outside the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, killing a total of 224 people, including several US citizens. On top of it, around 4000 people were severely injured, and the FBI immediately took over jurisdiction of the case since it was considered a terrorist attack on US soil.
Although the FBI conducted their own investigations, they soon received a call from Pakistani ISI agents who claimed they had a suspect with a bad passport in custody. The ISI agents insisted that the suspect, later identified as Mohammed Sadiq Odeh, flew into the country on a bad passport on August 6, 1998. When checking the flight manifests, authorities realized he had flown in from Nairobi just hours before the terrorist attack. Hence, suspecting a connection, ISI agents began interrogating him about the explosions until Mohammed broke and admitted to his role in the attack. Mohammed claimed that apart from being responsible for overseeing the construction of both explosive devices, he was also asked to plant the devices in a perfect spot that would do the most amount of damage. On top of it, he also agreed to identify and testify against several of his co-conspirators in exchange for a lenient sentence.
Where Is Mohammed Sadiq Odeh Now?
After questioning Mohammed in Pakistan, the ISI agents deported him to Kenya, where he was arrested by local authorities on August 14, 1988. Shortly after his arrest, Kenyan forces turned the suspect over to the FBI, who interrogated him again in the hopes of a written or recorded confession. This interrogation was deemed a success as FBI Special Agent Daniel Coleman later mentioned that Mohammed Sadiq Odeh had admitted to his role in the explosions.
Since Mohammed was a federal prisoner, he was brought back to the United States for his trial, where he was tried alongside his co-conspirators, Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, Wadih el Hage, and Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-Owhali. Subsequently, Mohammed was convicted on all counts, and the judge took the consequences of his action into consideration before sentencing him to life in federal prison without parole. Hence, with parole out of the picture, Mohammed is currently spending his days behind bars at the United States Penitentiary in Coleman, Florida.