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U.S. Charges 2 Yemeni Nationals with U.S.S. Cole Bombing - 2003-05-15


In what’s being termed: “another important step in America’s ongoing war against terror” the U.S. Justice Department has charged 2 men - both Yemeni nationals - in the deadly bombing of the “U.S.S. Cole” in Yemen in October of 2000. Details from VOA‘s Jim Harriot.

JOHN ASHCROFT, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL
“17 American sailors were killed that day and more than 40 were wounded…”

The U.S. Attorney General - John Ashcroft - announcing the 50-count indictment at a Washington news conference Thursday:

JOHN ASHCROFT, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL
“The two defendants are: Jamal Ahmed Mohammed Ali al-Badawi charged with being a key operative in Aden” a second individual is Fahd A-Quso - also a Yemeni national who is charged with facilitating the plot to ambush the “U.S.S. Cole.”

The two are alleged to be longtime al-Qaida terrorist associates - trained in the terrorist camps in Afghanistan in the 1990’s. The charges include: murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to destroy U.S. Property. The two suspects escaped from custody in Yemen last month, and are still at large. FBI director Robert Mueller:

ROBERT MUELLER, FBI DIRECTOR
“We will do what is necessary to locate them. We will continue to work closely with our counterparts in Yemen, and we will bring these terrorists to justice.”

It’s charged the two earlier had tried to attack another ship - the U.S. Sullivans - but their small boat sank under weight of the explosives. They recovered the boat - and the explosives - and strengthened the hull for the attack on the “Cole”. If caught and convicted they could face the death penalty.

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