A terrorist who collaborated with Osama bin Laden was released early from U.S. prison due to coronavirus fears, the New York Post reported Friday.
Adel Abdel Bary, who was responsible for the 1998 al-Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, is too obese to complete his sentence, a U.S. district court ruled in October.
“Defendant’s obesity and somewhat advanced age make COVID-19 significantly more risky to him than to the average person,” wrote U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan when granting the terrorist’s release.
In 2012, the United States extradited Bary from the United Kingdom to face trial for his role in the African embassy bombings, which killed more than 200 people, including 12 Americans. The terrorist, known as “Bin Laden’s spokesman in Europe,” received a 25-year sentence in 2015. Because of a plea agreement, however, Bary’s release was slated for Oct. 28. The district court’s ruling freed him weeks earlier, on Oct. 9.
U.S. authorities transferred Bary to British custody on Wednesday. The convicted terrorist will now return to his family and million-dollar London apartment.
Bary’s son, Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, is a former ISIS militant.
Edith Bartley, whose father and brother died in the al-Qaeda bombings, said that Bary is “a person who can still do harm in the world.”
“Just serving a sentence doesn’t mean that a person has been rehabilitated, doesn’t mean that their core thinking has changed,” Bartley told the New York Times.
In recent months, thousands of U.S. prisoners have earned early releases, supposedly to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Just last month, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy (D.) released more than 2,000 inmates over COVID fears. Earlier this year, New York City cited the pandemic as justification for releasing 2,500 prisoners from Rikers Island.