US says airstrike this week targeted terrorist behind USS Cole bombing

Jamel Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al-Badawi

Jamel Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al-Badawi

Jamal al-Badawi, an al-Qaeda commander and one of the main plotters behind the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole off Aden, was killed in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen, Yemeni sources said on Friday.

Jamel Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al-Badawi was wanted in connection with the deaths of 17 Americans who died in the attack on October 12, 2000.

The results of the New Year's day attack are still being assessed, including whether Jamal Al-badawi was killed.

A defense official told VOA that the US was waiting for the results of a DNA test before formally declaring al-Badawi deceased.

The airstrike precisely targeted a vehicle carrying Badawi who was travelling alone near al-Qaida-held area in al-Bayda, the source said.

The Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which carries out sporadic attacks against Yemeni soldiers, backed by the United Arab Emirates in different areas of the country's southern regions, revealed no statement to confirm or deny the USA airstrike. He was indicted by a USA grand jury in 2003 and charged with 50 counts of various terrorism offenses, including murder of US nationals and murder of USA military personnel. He was also charged with attempting to attack a U.S. Navy vessel in January 2000.

The AQAP network, mostly operating in eastern and southern provinces, has been responsible for many high-profile attacks against security forces in Yemen.

The FBI had placed Mr Badawi on its most wanted list, offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.

He was convicted of plotting and taking part in the bombing in Yemen in 2004 but escaped from prison and, after handing himself in again, was allowed to walk free.

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