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Bin Laden charges officially dropped

June 17, 2011 |  3:00 pm

Osama Bin Laden's charges have now been officially dropped

Osama bin Laden may now be in paradise, at the bottom of the sea or in an even darker place, but one thing his soul no longer needs to worry about is federal terrorism charges. On Friday, federal authorities filed court papers to drop terrorism charges against the fallen Al Qaeda leader.

According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan approved the routine procedural request made by federal prosecutors to dismiss the charges that is typical when defendants under indictment die.

Bin Laden was killed in May when the Navy SEALs stormed his hideout in Pakistan. He later was buried at sea.

The original indictment was brought in a federal court in New York City in June 1998, accusing Bin Laden of supporting an ambush responsible for the deaths of 18 American soldiers in Somalia in 1993. Charges were eventually added to include the August 1998 dual bombings of two American embassies in East Africa that killed 224, and for his role in the suicide attack on the destroyer Cole in 2000.

Bin Laden's role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was not included in these charges.


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Photo: Bin Laden, shown on Dec 24, 1998, speaks to reporters in the mountains of Afghanistan's Helmand province. He led the Al Qaeda network, which has claimed responsibility for attacks on symbols of U.S. power around the globe. Credit: Associated Press