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Trump says military killed USS ‘Cole’ bombing ‘leader’ Jamal al-Badawi

Trump says military killed USS ‘Cole’ bombing ‘leader’ Jamal al-Badawi
Having managed to flee a Yemeni prison before being released following his surrender, convicted Al-Qaeda member and USS ‘Cole’ bombing suspect Jamal al-Badawi has been killed by the US military, US President Donald Trump has said.

Trump celebrated Badawi’s death on his Twitter account, calling the military “great” for carrying out the operation.

Badawi, who was on the FBI most wanted list over his involvement in the bombing of the USS ‘Cole’ warship when it was refueling in the Yemeni port of Aden in October 2000, has been called the plot’s “mastermind” by some US media, including Fox News. Trump described the Al-Qaeda member “the leader” of the attack.

Despite the US leader saying that the man was “just killed,” reports of a drone strike against Badawi emerged a few days ago. A “precision strike” on the terrorist took place on Tuesday to the east of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, a US official told reporters. Reports in the Arab media then said he was killed in the strike.

On October 12, 2000, two Yemeni suicide attackers rammed the American destroyer in a small explosive-laden boat, killing 17 US sailors and injuring 40 other people.

Badawi was initially condemned to death in Yemen for his role in plotting the USS Cole attack. However, the sentence was then reduced to just 15 years.

He was imprisoned in 2000 but managed to escape three years later. The Al-Qaeda member was recaptured in 2004 but then fled again as part of a group of inmates who dug a tunnel from prison to a nearby mosque.

A grand jury in the US indicted Badawi on 50 counts of different terrorist charges. At some point, the State Department even offered $5 million for the information about the fugitive’s whereabouts.

But in 2017, Badawi suddenly turned himself in as he pledged allegiance to Yemen’s exiled president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Two weeks later, he was released from prison, but military commanders allied with Hadi vowed that he would remain "under close scrutiny and control.”

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