The widow of one of the 12 Americans killed in the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings said the capture of alleged mastermind Anas al Libi this weekend sends the message that terrorists can't escape "the long arm of justice."
Deborah Hobson lost her husband, Army Sgt. Kenneth R. Hobson, in the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya on Aug. 7, 1998. He was assigned to the U.S. Army defense attache there as an administrative specialist.
"It's soothing to know that our government is still after them and methodically and deliberately going after them," Hobson told NBC News' Richard Engel.
Al Libi allegedly was a key player in the planning of the bombings, which killed a dozen Americans and more than 200 Kenyans and Tanzanians in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam, the Tanzanian capital.
U.S. special forces whisked al Libi off the streets of the Libyan capital of Tripoli Saturday. He will be taken to the United States to stand trial for his alleged role in the bombings.
Hobson said al Libi's capture sends the message to other terrorists that "the long arm of justice is long-suffering and patient and we'll come after them. They, they're not able to hide."
Of the 21 people originally indicted in the embassy bombings case by the U.S. Justice Department (.pdf), eight have been killed, including Osama bin Laden, one died awaiting trial, and another eight are in jail, either convicted or awaiting trial.
A 22nd man, Ali Mohamed, a former Egyptian intelligence officer who later worked for U.S. Army Special Forces, was picked up just a couple of weeks after the bombing and is now serving life without parole.
Al Libi was one of four remaining fugitives until Saturday.
Hobson said she was thankful to those who kept working to bring al Libi to justice.
"I'm so thankful for the people who have spent years doing this, I mean this has taken many years of work and many people have dedicated their lives to this search," she said.
First published October 7 2013, 6:50 PM