Skip to main content

Kenya's history of terrorism

The Nairobi embassy bombing killed 224 people
The Nairobi embassy bombing killed 224 people

   Story Tools

more video VIDEO
Suicide bombers attack Paradise hotel. (November 28)
premium content

Passengers tell CNN's Matthew Chance of airline missile attack. (November 28)
premium content

MOMBASA, Kenya (CNN) -- The car bombing outside a hotel in the Kenyan tourist city of Mombasa comes four years after a terrorist attack on an embassy in the eastern African country.

A massive truck bomb exploded outside the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi on August 7, 1998.

Simultaneously, another bomb went off outside the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The attacks killed 224 people and injured thousands.

The United States brought four men accused of having links to Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network to trial for the attacks. They were jailed for life without parole.

U.S. prosecutors indicted bin Laden in connection with the embassy bombings. Washington also blamed him and his al Qaeda group for the September 11 attacks on the United States last year.

For many Americans, the news of the embassy bombings was the first they had heard of Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network.

Though bin Laden has never claimed responsibility for the attacks in Kenya and Tanzania, he has supported the actions.

For years, predominantly Muslim Somalia, which borders Kenya to the east, had been home to a number of al Qaeda terrorist training camps and was known to have links to al-Ittihad al-Islami, a fundamentalist Muslim group. In March 2002, U.S. officials said they no longer appeared to be in Somalia.

U.S. troops withdrew from the country in 1994 after efforts to safeguard delivery of humanitarian aid evolved into an unsuccessful campaign against a Somali warlord, Mohammed Farah Aidid.

The effort climaxed in a bloody street battle in October 1993 that left 18 American Special Forces troops and hundreds of Somalis dead.

U.S. intelligence indicates the Somalis had help from al Qaeda, and some in the Pentagon said they believe bin Laden concluded from the battle that the U.S. military could be defeated simply by inflicting casualties.

Story Tools

Top Stories
Iran poll to go to run-off
Top Stories
EU 'crisis' after summit failure
© 2004 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.