US says airstrike this week targeted terrorist behind USS Cole bombing
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US says airstrike this week targeted terrorist behind USS Cole bombing

Military still assessing whether strike in Yemen killed Jamal al-Badawi, an al-Qaeda operative, who has been charged with involvement in the deadly suicide attack that killed 17

Experts examine the hole on the side of the USS Cole in Aden on October 13, 2000. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)
Experts examine the hole on the side of the USS Cole in Aden on October 13, 2000. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)

WASHINGTON  — An American airstrike earlier this week targeted an al-Qaeda operative accused of involvement in the attack nearly two decades ago on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors, a U.S. military spokesman said Friday.

The man targeted, Jamal al-Badawi, is wanted in the United States for his role in the Cole attack on Oct. 12, 2000.

He was indicted by a US grand jury in 2003 and charged with 50 counts of various terrorism offenses, including murder of US nationals and murder of US military personnel.

“US forces are still assessing the results of the strike following a deliberate process to confirm his death,” the spokesman for US Central Command, Navy Capt. William Urban, said.

Jamal al-Badawi, an al-Qaida operative accused of involvement in the Oct. 12, 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors. (FBI via AP)

Urban said the airstrike was conducted Jan. 1 in the governate of Marib, which is east of Sanaa, the Yemeni capital.

The Cole, a guide-missile destroyer, was attacked by suicide bombers in an explosives-laden boat while refueling at the Yemeni port of Aden.

The stunning assault, which also wounded 39 aboard the ship, foreshadowed the more deadly attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 that launched the US on wars in the Middle East that are still underway, including in Afghanistan.

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