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The Bombings the World Forgot
On the podcast: Ambassador Prudence Bushnell survived the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. Now she tells her story.
Twenty years ago last month, al Qaeda attacked two U.S. embassies in Africa—one in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the other in Nairobi, Kenya. More than 200 people lost their lives that day, including 12 Americans. Thousands more sustained injuries. The attacks were the first major salvo in al Qaeda’s war against the United States and a precursor to other al Qaeda assaults on U.S. targets, including the suicide bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000 and, of course, 9/11.
Prudence Bushnell was the U.S. ambassador to Kenya in 1998. She warned the State Department about potential security threats as soon as she took up her post, but those concerns went unheeded. She’s now written a book—Terrorism, Betrayal, and Resilience: My Story of the 1998 U.S. Embassy Bombings—detailing the harrowing narrative of that terrible day and explaining how her appeals for greater security were ignored. She joins Sarah Wildman this week in conversation on The E.R.