It went virtually unnoticed (and unreported by this newspaper), but last week a federal court found the government of Iran liable for the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Wait, you say, wasn’t al-Qaeda responsible for the embassy bombings?
Al-Qaeda carried out the attack, but the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that the bombings would not have been possible without “direct assistance” from Tehran as well as Sudan. “The government of Iran,” Judge John D. Bates wrote in his 45-page decision, “aided, abetted and conspired with Hezbollah, Osama Bin Laden, and al Qaeda to launch large-scale bombing attacks against the United States by utilizing the sophisticated delivery mechanism of powerful suicide truck bombs.”
Iran’s assistance was not peripheral to the plot, Bates found. “Al Qaeda desired to replicate Hezbollah’s 1983 Beirut Marine barracks suicide bombing, and Bin Laden sought Iranian expertise to teach al Qaeda operatives about how to blow up buildings,” Bates wrote. “Prior to their meetings with Iranian officials and agents Bin Laden and al Qaeda did not possess the technical expertise required to carry out the embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. The Iranian defendants, through Hezbollah, provided explosives training to Bin Laden and al Qaeda and rendered direct assistance to al Qaeda operatives . . . [I]n a short time, al Qaeda acquired the capabilities to carry out the 1998 Embassy bombings, which killed hundreds and injured thousands by detonation of very large and sophisticated bombs.”