STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

US official: Airstrike kills terrorist

The terrorist behind the 2000 attack on the USS Cole is believed to have been killed in a US airstrike in Yemen, according to a US administration official.

Posted: Jan 5, 2019 6:19 PM
Updated: Jan 5, 2019 6:46 PM

The terrorist behind the 2000 attack on the USS Cole is believed to have been killed in a US airstrike in Yemen on Tuesday, according to a US administration official.

Jamel Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al-Badawi was an al Qaeda operative who the US believes helped orchestrate the October 12, 2000, attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors.

The official said all intelligence indicators show al-Badawi was killed in a strike in Yemen as a result of a joint US military and intelligence operation.

US officials told CNN that the strike took place in Yemen's Ma'rib Governorate.

While US Central Command, which oversees military operations in the region, later confirmed that al-Badawi was targeted in a strike, a spokesman said the US was still assessing the results.

"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," US Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesman for Central Command, told CNN in a statement.

"US forces are still assessing the results of the strike following a deliberate process to confirm his death," he added.

The administration official said that al-Badawi was struck while driving alone in a vehicle and that the US assessed there was not any collateral damage.

Al-Badawi was on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists.

The Cole was attacked by suicide bombers in a small boat laden with explosives while in port in Aden, Yemen, for refueling. The attack also wounded 39 sailors.

The bombing was attributed to al Qaeda and foreshadowed the attack on the US less than one year later on September 11, 2001.

"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 was arrested by Yemeni authorities in December of 2000 and held in connection with the Cole attack but he escaped from a prison in Yemen in April of 2003.

He was recaptured by Yemeni authorities in March of 2004 but again escaped Yemeni custody in February 2006 after he and several other inmates used broomsticks and pieces of a broken fan to dig an escape tunnel that led from the prison to a nearby mosque.

The State Department's Rewards for Justice Program had previously offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest.

Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, an al Qaeda militant also seen as a key figure in the bombing, has been in US custody since 2002 and has been held at the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba since 2006.

US military prosecutors have charged al-Nashiri with murder for allegedly planning the attack on the USS Cole.

Al-Badawi is also not the first high profile al Qaeda target that the US has killed in Yemen.

US officials told CNN in August that a 2017 CIA drone strike in Yemen killed Ibrahim al-Asiri, a master al Qaeda bombmaker.

Al-Asiri, a native of Saudi Arabia, was the mastermind behind the "underwear bomb" attempt to detonate on a flight above the skies of Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009.

He was widely credited with perfecting miniaturized bombs with little or no metal content that could make it past some airport security screening. That ability made him a direct threat to the US, and some of his plots had come close to reaching their targets in the US.

The US has sought to prevent al Qaeda from exploiting the chaos of Yemen's civil war to establish a safe haven and the US military carried out 131 airstrikes in Yemen in 2017 and conducted 36 strikes in 2018, nearly all of them targeting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a terror group that both al-Asiri and Al-Badawi have been associated with.

The CIA has not revealed how many strikes it has carried out. CIA drone strikes are not publicly acknowledged.

West Lafayette
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 40°
Kokomo
Overcast
42° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 37°
Rensselaer
Scattered Clouds
36° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 36°
Fowler
Scattered Clouds
36° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 36°
Williamsport
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 41°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
40° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 40°
Frankfort
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 42°
Delphi
Overcast
40° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 34°
Monticello
Overcast
40° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 34°
Logansport
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 38°
Clearer Wednesday after some patchy morning fog
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 166564

Reported Deaths: 4194
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion26255795
Lake14627362
St. Joseph9725171
Elkhart9402142
Allen8741232
Hamilton6462117
Vanderburgh622464
Tippecanoe402416
Porter355450
Hendricks3442137
Monroe337538
Johnson3307131
Delaware314475
Clark308565
Vigo280641
Madison254796
LaPorte241464
Cass230125
Kosciusko210329
Warrick206865
Floyd188468
Howard170166
Bartholomew149058
Marshall149028
Dubois147926
Wayne145533
Grant135440
Henry134330
Boone131050
Hancock125044
Noble124535
Jackson122519
Dearborn103828
Morgan100440
Lawrence99238
Gibson95612
Clinton93516
Daviess93236
Shelby91835
Knox83910
LaGrange82815
Harrison80724
Fayette79021
Putnam78317
DeKalb78111
Posey7787
Jasper7075
Miami6905
Steuben6748
Montgomery64422
White63016
Greene58138
Adams5777
Scott55916
Decatur53339
Whitley4926
Ripley4888
Wells47311
Clay4697
Sullivan46714
Starke4608
Wabash4599
Huntington4545
Orange42525
Spencer4236
Randolph42110
Fulton3956
Washington3923
Jennings38813
Franklin38325
Perry37714
Jefferson3655
Pike36318
Jay3486
Carroll34713
Fountain3393
Tipton28523
Vermillion2761
Parke2604
Rush2544
Blackford2425
Newton24011
Owen2171
Martin2040
Pulaski1794
Crawford1651
Brown1503
Ohio1367
Union1180
Benton1110
Switzerland990
Warren921
Unassigned0236

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events