A terrorist who helped orchestrate the 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 U.S. sailors has been killed in an airstrike, according to a new report.
CNN reported that Jamel Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al-Badawi was killed, basing its report on information from an unnamed U.S. official.
The official said Al-Badawi was driving alone in his car in Yemen’s Ma’rib Governorate when he was targeted, and that there was no collateral damage.
The attack was a joint operation between U.S. military and intelligence forces, the official said.
Justice served – terrorist Al-Qaeda commander Jamal Al-Badawi, who masterminded the 2000 USS Cole bombing, was eliminated by a US drone strike in Yemen earlier today. https://t.co/HSmjdGzqb6
— Avi Kaner (@AviKaner) January 4, 2019
Publicly, the U.S. Central Command would only go so far as to say al-Badawi was targeted.
“US forces conducted a precision strike Jan. 1st in the Marib governate, Yemen, targeting Jamal al-Badawi, a legacy al Qaeda operative in Yemen involved in the USS Cole bombing,” Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesman for Central Command, told CNN in a statement.
“We are aware of reports that Jamel al-Badawi was killed in a strike in Yemen,” Urban said.
“U.S. forces are still assessing the results of the strike following a deliberate process to confirm his death,” he added.
1) Jamal Al-Badawi—the Yemeni #alQaeda operative & mastermind of the 2000 USS Cole Bombing & attempted USS Sullivans attack—reportedly killed in a US drone strike in #Yemen (unclear if in al-Bayda or Ma’rib governorate). He was among US gov’s most wanted https://t.co/v9jTYH5iQ0 pic.twitter.com/rR8F51VqTA
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) January 4, 2019
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 4, 2019
Suicide bombers attacked the Cole on Oct. 12, 2000, while it was posted in Aden, Yemen. The terrorists who conducted the attack used a small boat laden with explosives to approach the Cole. The blast, which blew a hole in the side of the ship, injured 39 sailors.
The attack was blamed on al-Qaida.
“Al-Badawi was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2003, charged with 50 counts of various terrorism offenses, including murder of US nationals and murder of US military personnel,” Urban said.
Al-Badawi had been arrested twice in Yemen but escaped both times.
The State Department had offered a reward of up to $5 million for information that would lead to Al-Badawi’s arrest.
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