Terrorist behind USS Cole bombing killed in U.S. airstrike

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The Al Qaeda operative considered to be the mastermind of the 2000 attack on the USS Cole is believed to have been killed in a U.S. airstrike in Yemen, President Donald Trump confirmed on Twitter on Sunday.

Jamel Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al-Badawi was an al Qaeda operative who the U.S. believed helped orchestrate the Oct. 12, 2000, bombing of the U.S. guided missile destroyer, which killed 17 American sailors.

“Our GREAT MILITARY has delivered justice for the heroes lost and wounded in the cowardly attack on the USS Cole. We have just killed the leader of that attack, Jamal al-Badawi. Our work against al Qaeda continues. We will never stop in our fight against Radical Islamic Terrorism!,” Trump tweeted.

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

The airstrike was conducted Jan. 1 in the governate of Marib, which is east of Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, said U.S. Central Command spokesman, Navy Capt. William Urban.

The Cole, a guided-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 U.S. on wars in the Middle East that are still underway, including in Afghanistan.

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