A senior Al Qaeda leader wanted for the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa was arrested at the Cairo International Airport on Wednesday, after arriving on a flight from Pakistan, according to Egyptian security officials.
Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi, once a confidant of Osama bin Laden, allegedly plotted the near simultaneous attacks on U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya that left more than 200 people dead. A militant Islamist for decades, Makkawi is linked to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat following Cairo’s peace treaty with Israel.
Makkawi, a former Egyptian army officer, has often been described as a military and intelligence strategist and one-time chief of bin Laden’s security detail. He’s known by the alias Saif al-Adel, which in Arabic means the “sword of justice.”
He’s written terrorist manuals, including one reportedly called, "The Base of the Vanguard," and trained militants in Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan.