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Texas Man Indicted in Embassy Bomb

September 22, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ A Texas man identified as the former personal secretary of Muslim extremist Osama bin Laden was indicted Monday on charges of lying under oath about his ties to a terrorist organization authorities say is headed by bin Laden.

Wadih El Hage, 38, was arrested last week by FBI agents investigating bin Laden, the Saudi exile wanted by U.S. authorities for allegedly coordinating simultaneous attacks on American embassies in Nairobi and Tanzania. The blasts on Aug. 7 killed 258 people, including 12 Americans, and wounded thousands.

El Hage, of Arlington, Texas, was indicted Monday on eight counts of perjury and three counts of making false statements. He was ordered held without bail.

The federal indictment alleged that El Hage perjured himself during testimony last year and again last week before a grand jury investigating bin Laden.

El Hage, an American citizen who has admitted being bin Laden’s personal secretary in the Sudan in 1994, allegedly lied when he told the grand jurors that he never heard his boss threaten the United States, the indictment said.

Questioned last week by the FBI, El Hage also denied knowing bombing suspect Mohamed Sadeek Odeh _ despite evidence the two men were associates, the indictment said.

The indictment did not directly link El Hage to any terrorist attacks. But it said that investigators had found his code name _ ``Norman″ _ on documents seized in Nairobi following the bombing.

The grand jury also is investigating whether El Hage’s ``international travels concerned efforts to procure chemical weapons″ for bin Laden, the indictment said.

El Hage, married with children, was described by neighbors and friends as a family man and reliable employee at Lone Star Wheels and Tires.

El Hage did not speak at the indictment. He was ordered held without bail.

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