East African Embassy Bombings

An FBI agent rakes through debris looking for clues following the car bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya in August 1998. Reuters.


On August 7, 1998, nearly simultaneous bombs blew up in front of the American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Two hundred and twenty-four people died in the blasts, including 12 Americans, and more than 4,500 people were wounded.

In the aftermath of the attacks, over 900 FBI agents alone—and many more FBI employees—traveled overseas to assist in the recovery of evidence and the identification of victims at the bomb sites and to track down the perpetrators.

These attacks were soon directly linked to al Qaeda. To date, more than 20 people have been charged in connection with the bombings. Several of these individuals—including Usama bin Laden—have been killed. Six are serving life sentences in U.S. prison, and a few others are awaiting trial.

The KENBOM and TANBOM investigations—as the FBI calls them—represented at that time the largest deployment in Bureau history. They led to ramped up anti-terror efforts by the United States and by the FBI, including an expanded Bureau overseas presence that can quickly respond to acts of terrorism that involve Americans.

The investigation continues, with the following fugitives still wanted for their alleged roles in the attacks: