THE US Army has killed the al Qaeda terrorist responsible for the bombing of an American military ship which claimed the lives of 17 soldiers.
Donald Trump confirmed on Twitter the “precision strike” that killed Jamal al-Bawadi, who was behind the USS Cole attack in 2000.
The president wrote on Twitter: “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!”
It was first revealed al-Badawi may have been killed on Friday by US military and intelligence agencies.
Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for US Central Command, said: “US forces conducted a precision strike January 1 in the Marib (governorate), Yemen, targeting Jamal al-Badawi, a legacy Al-Qaeda operative in Yemen involved in the USS Cole bombing”.
According to an administration official al-Badawi was hit while driving alone and there was no collateral damage, CNN reports.
In the 2000 attack a rubber boat containing 500 pounds of explosives blew up near the USS Cole, which had just pulled into Aden, Yemen, for a refuelling stop.
The explosion killed 17 American soldiers and wounded 39, and the two suicide bombers were also killed.
Al-Qaeda took responsibility for the attack and it was considered one of their early successes.
Another suspect behind the attack Abdel Rahim al-Nashiri has been held in Guantanamo Bay since 2006.
Badawi was charged with 50 counts of terrorism offences in 2003, including murder of US nationals and murder of US military personnel.
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He is said to have supplied boats and explosives for the USS Cole attack and was also charged with attempting to attack a US Navy vessel in January 2000.
Badawi was on the FBI’s most wanted list with a $5million reward for information leading to his capture.
He escaped from prison in 2003 after being captured by Yemeni authorities.
After his recapture in 2004, he escaped yet again in 2006 by tunnelling out of prison using broomsticks and pieces of a broken fan.
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