USS Cole Bombing Mastermind Killed by US Airstrike in Yemen

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A USA airstrike in western Yemen may have killed one of the men suspected of coordinating a terror bombing on the USS Cole in 2000 that killed 17 US sailors, Defense officials said Friday.

US intelligence indicates al-Badawi was killed Tuesday in an airstrike in Ma'rib Governorate, CNN reported, citing an anonymous Trump administration official.

Captain Bill Urban of US Central Command told the BBC the strike targeting Badawi had occurred in the Marib governorate, adding that US forces were "still assessing the results of the strike following a deliberate process to confirm his death".

An airstrike launched by a USA drone killed a senior leader of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch in the central province of al-Bayda on Friday, a security official told Xinhua.

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

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"Jamal al-Badawi was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2003, charged with 50 counts of various terrorism offenses, including murder of USA nationals and murder of US military personnel", the statement said.

Meanwhile, a US military strike in al-Dayman, Yemen, on Friday targeted operatives for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), according to an official. He escaped from prison in Yemen twice, once in 2003 and again in 2006.

The bombing of the USS Cole, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, occurred while the warship was refueling at the harbor of Aden. He managed to escape a second time in February 2006, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

There is a five-million dollar reward for information leading to his arrest.

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