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Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-Owhali (born 18 January 1977) is a British-born Saudi terrorist. Al-Owhali is one of the four al-Qaeda members sentenced in 2001 to life without parole for their parts in the 1998 United States embassy bombings.[3] The others are Mohammed Saddiq Odeh, Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, and Wadih el-Hage. All four are in the supermax prison known as ADX Florence.

Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-Owhali
Born (1977-01-18) 18 January 1977 (age 42)
Liverpool, England[1]
Detained atADX Florence
Alternate nameMohammed Akbar, Abdul Jabbar Ali Abdel-Latif, Khalid Salim Saleh Bin Rashid[2]
Alleged to be a member ofAl-Qaeda
PenaltyLife imprisonment


Militant activityEdit

A Saudi from a wealthy family, al-Owhali attended Khalden training camp in 1996.[1][4] He traveled to Kenya on a false passport under the name of Khalid Salim Saleh Bin Rashid, which he later claimed was provided by "Bilal", which is an alias of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.[5]

During the Nairobi bombing, he had initially sat in the passenger seat of the Toyota Dyna, and threw a stun grenade at embassy guards before exiting the vehicle which the driver detonated.[1] Osama bin Laden later offered the explanation that it had been his intention to leap out and shoot the guards to clear a path for the truck, but that he had left his pistol in the truck and subsequently ran off.[6]

Arrest and imprisonmentEdit

Kenyan doctors attending to al-Owhali were suspicious of his role in the event, and noted that his injuries showed he had his back to the explosion and suggested he may have been running from the scene.[7]

He was arrested August 12, 1998 and confessed to his role in the bombing.[6] He cooperated with the FBI willingly, and gave them the telephone number he had called before and following the bombing: 967-1-200578. It was a phone number to a house in Yemen belonging to Ahmad Mohammad Ali al-Hada, the father-in-law of Khalid Mihdhar, one of five hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77, which was flown into the Pentagon as part of the September 11 attacks. The house turned out to be the key communications hub for al-Qaeda. Through this number the CIA learned about the upcoming Kuala Lumpur al-Qaeda Summit where the plans for 9/11 and USS Cole bombing were finalized.[8]

In a successful bid to escape the death penalty, al-Owhali's lawyers used a video clip from Madeleine Albright and courtroom testimony from Ramsey Clark and Dennis Halliday, attesting to the negative impact of sanctions against Iraq in the 1990s, which encouraged al-Owhali to become a participant in terrorism against the United States.[9]

Provided evidence against other captives in the war on terrorEdit

Two Summary of Evidence memos prepared for the Combatant Status Review Tribunals of the fourteen "high-value detainees" mentioned al-Owhali:[5][10]

name notes
Walid Bin Attash
  • One of the allegations against Walid Bin Attash was:[10]

Mohammad Rashed Daoud Al-Owhali (Al-Owhali) stated that in approximately June or July 1998, the detainee told him that his (Al-Owhali's) mission was a martyrdom mission, where he would be driving a vehicle filled with explosives into a target which would result in his death. The detainee told Al-Owhali the target was a United States embassy in East Africa, but he was not told the exact country.

Abd Al Rahim Hussein Mohammed Al Nashiri
  • One of the allegations against Al Nashiri was:[5]

Mohammad Rashid Daoud Al-Owhali (Al-Owhali), confessed and was later convicted in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, for his role in the al Qaida bombings of the United States embassies in East Africa, which occurred on 7 August 1998. Al-Owhali obtained a Yemeni passport in the name of Khalid Salim Saleh Bin Rashid. Al-Owhali identified the individual who facilitated Al-Owhali's obtaining a Yemeni passport as Bilal, Bilal is known to Federal Bureau of Investigation investigators as Abdul Rahim al Nashiri, the detainee. Al-Owhali used this same Yemeni passport to travel to Nairobi, Kenya, arriving on 2 August 1998.


  1. ^ a b c Burke, Jason (August 5, 2001). "Dead man walking". Observer. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  2. ^ Pearson, Erica (2011). Martin, Gus (ed.). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Terrorism (Second ed.). SAGE Publications. pp. 452–3. ISBN 9781483305646.
  3. ^ Hirschkorn, Phil (October 21, 2001). "Four embassy bombers get life". Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  4. ^ Burke, Jason (September 29, 2001). "Hijacking suspect 'was bin Laden bodyguard'". Observer. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c OARDEC (February 8, 2007). "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal - Al Nashiri, Abd Al Rahim Hussein Mohammed". Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Ressa, Maria (2003). Seeds of Terror. Free Press. p. 174. ISBN 9780743251334.
  7. ^ Benjamin, Daniel; Simon, Steven (2002). The Age of Sacred Terror. Random House. ISBN 9781588362599.
  8. ^ Mayer, Jane (2008). The Dark Side. Knopf Doubleday. ISBN 9780385528450.
  9. ^ Hirschkorn, Phil (June 4, 2001). "Bomber's defense focuses on U.S. policy on Iraq". Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  10. ^ a b OARDEC (February 8, 2007). "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal - Bin Attash, Walid Muhammad Salih". Retrieved March 2, 2016.

External linksEdit

  • "FBI Executive Summary". Frontline. November 18, 1998. Retrieved March 1, 2016. This is a declassified executive summary of status and findings of the FBI investigation into the embassy bombings as of November 18, 1998.