Sudanese authorities revealed on Thursday new details about the terrorist cell that was arrested for plotting bombings in the capital, Khartoum.
The general prosecution said a suspected, who was detained on Tuesday, confessed to belonging to a terrorist network that is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
He said the cell was sent to Sudan to carry out bombings in Khartoum. He had confessed to receiving training on bomb-making and to smuggling other members of the cell through forged Syrian passports.
The cell had arrived in Sudan six months ago.
Authorities have charged the detainee with terrorism and possessing weapons and ammunition and issued arrest warrants for the remaining members of the cell.
Authorities on Tuesday announced the busting of the cell, which is comprised of Sudanese and foreign members. They also confiscated bomb-making material in their possession.
Separately, the justice ministry said Thursday Sudan has agreed to compensate the families of sailors killed in an al-Qaeda attack on the USS Cole warship 20 years ago, as part of government efforts to remove the country from a list of state sponsors of terrorism.
The settlement had been signed on Feb. 7, reported Reuters. It did not mention the amount paid in compensation, but a source with knowledge of the deal, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Sudan had agreed to settle the case for $30 million.
Seventeen sailors were killed and dozens of others injured in the attack on Oct. 12, 2000 when two men in a small boat detonated explosives alongside the Navy guided missile destroyer as it was refueling in the southern Yemeni port of Aden.
Khartoum agreed to settle “only for the purpose of fulfilling the condition set by the US administration to remove Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism”, the SUNA news agency said, citing the justice ministry.
Being designated as a state sponsor of terrorism makes Sudan ineligible for desperately needed debt relief and financing from lenders such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
Removal from the list potentially opens the door for foreign investment.
“The government of Sudan would like to point out that the settlement agreement explicitly affirmed that the government was not responsible for this incident or any terrorist act,” the justice ministry said in its statement, cited by SUNA.
The US sailors’ relatives had sued Sudan under the 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which generally bars suits against foreign countries except those designated by the United States as a sponsor of terrorism, as Sudan has been since 1993.
Sudan did not defend against the claims in court. In 2014, a trial judge found that Sudan’s aid to al-Qaeda “led to the murders” of the 17 Americans and awarded the families about $35 million, including $14 million in punitive damages.
Sudan then tried to void the judgment, arguing the lawsuit was not properly served on its foreign minister, violating notification requirements under US and international law.
The US Supreme Court turned down the bid by the families last year.