U.S. frees convicted Al Qaeda terrorist saying he’s too fat for jail

Al Qaeda terrorist was serving a 25-year sentence for 1998 U.S. embassy bombings that killed 224 people, released early from NJ jail.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

A convicted Al Qaeda terrorist who was serving a 25-year sentence for his role in two deadly bombings against American targets was given early release and flew to the UK after a judge ruled his age and obesity posed a threat to his life if he contracted the coronavirus, published reports said Friday.

“Adel Abdel Bary, 60, had spent 21 years in a New Jersey prison for his role in the 1998 al Qaeda bombings of two US embassies in Africa that killed 224 people, including 12 Americans,” the New York Post reported.

Born and raised in Egypt, Bary applied for political asylum in the UK in 1993 after claiming he was tortured by the Egyptian government following the assassination of President Anwar Sadat, using that background to request political asylum that was granted in 1998.

While in the UK, Bary worked for the Al Qaeda terror group and following the deadly embassy bombings the U.S. requested his extradition in 1999 to stand trial. Jailed for most of the time while he fought the extradition, Bary eventually was transferred to America where he pleaded guilty in 2014 to three of the charges against him and the following year was sentenced to 25-years in prison.

However, he was given credit for his time served awaiting and during the trial. His lawyers petitioned the court in New York City for an early release saying that the coronavirus pandemic posed a danger to his life because of his age and obesity.

“The defendant’s obesity is an extraordinary and compelling reason that could justify a reduction of his sentence in light of the current pandemic,” Bary’s lawyers wrote in their appeal for the 230-pound terrorist.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan agreed, writing in his judgment: “Defendant’s obesity and somewhat advanced age make COVID-19 significantly more risky to him than to the average person.”

Bary was transferred to UK officials who arranged for his flight back to England, where he is now a free man. Under British law his return could not be blocked because he received asylum before his arrest in 1999 and he could not be deported to his native Egypt because he could face the death penalty there, The Sun newspaper reported.

Bary was reunited with his wife, Ragaa, who lives in a $1 million-plus apartment in London. A source told The Sun “his return remains a huge headache” for the British government that wants to get rid of terrorist threats, but instead got “a notorious terrorist” dumped right on their doorstep.