East Africa Embassy Bombings
After a bombing in the World Trade Center parking lot in 1993, al Qaida’s actions against the United States continued to escalate. On August 7, 1998, near simultaneous truck bombs exploded at the American Embassies in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. 224 people died, and around 5,000 were wounded. The FBI was able to quickly link the attacks to bin Laden's al Qaida organization. In retaliation, President Clinton ordered airstrikes against sites linked to bin Laden in Sudan and Afghanistan. However, this action failed to kill bin Laden or neutralize al Qaida. In November 1998, the United States indicted bin Ladin and 21 other accomplices for the attacks. The Clinton Library has the following collections regarding the East Africa Bombings and the Clinton Administration’s response:
2007-1596-F This collection consists of materials related to the suicide bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya on August 7, 1998 and the subsequent August 20, 1998 Operation Infinite Reach airstrikes against suspected al Qaida facilities in Afghanistan and Sudan. The records include reports, memoranda, correspondence, and press materials regarding the bombings, Operation Infinite Reach, and the emergency supplemental funding that Congress passed to cover medical expenses, victim compensation, and additional embassy security measures.
2007-1610-F This collection consists of materials regarding Mullah Mohammad Omar, the founder and spiritual leader of the Taliban, and Osama bin Laden. Under Omar’s direction, the Taliban provided sanctuary to al Qaida and its leader Osama bin Laden despite demands by the United Nations Security Council that he be handed over for trial for his involvement in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The collection includes news articles and press briefings regarding the Taliban’s refusal to turn over bin Laden and the resulting United Nations sanctions.
2007-1631-F This collection consists of records related to terrorism in Afghanistan from 1994 through 2001. The collection contains National Security Council (NSC) cables, emails, and Records Management System numbered documents. The records concern United Nations resolutions regarding the deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan, the impact of the Taliban’s rule on Central Asia, foreign press coverage of the proliferation of terrorist groups, Congressional correspondence, international meetings, and reaction to the 1998 United States airstrikes.
2009-1291-M These Clinton Presidential Records were declassified in response to a Mandatory Declassification Review request for documents related to United States military operations or air strikes against targets in Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998.