On 10/12/2000 a speed boat loaded with explosives and driven by two suicide bombers, Ibrahim al-Thawr and Abdullah al-Misawa, both Yemenis, collided at 11:18, local time, with the USA missile destroyer USS Cole in the Gulf of Aden, south Yemen. The USS Cole was in a periodical routine visit headed to Aden harbor for general maintenance. 17 sailors of the crew were killed in the explosion and many other wounded in the attack that was meant to sink the destroyer. An ephemeral group, Jaish Aden -Army of Aden, led, probably, by Khaled Abdul-Nabi, took responsibility on the attack on the web.
The USS Cole attack was the second major attack of Al Qaeda on USA targets and was carried out by the same cell that failed to execute The YEMEN MILLENIUM plot.
The USS COLE attack was coordinated with Al Qaeda through Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.(today 07/2007 he is in detention in Guantanamo). The direct commander of the USS COLE attack and the top Al Qaeda operative in Yemen, Abu Ali al-Harthi, was killed on 11/03/2002 by a missile from an UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, with five of his cell ssociates including Kamal Derwish and four other activists .
Another figure related to the USS COLE attack- Hadi Saleh al-Waeli,an illegal weapon trader who supplied the explosive for the USS COLE attack, was released from Yemeni jail on 02/22/2006 since it was not proved in court that he had any prior knowledge about the attack.
Jamal al-Badawi, the head of the supportive Al Qaeda cell in Aden was arrested on 03/04/2004 and sentenced to death in Yemen on 09/29/2004. His death sentence was, meanwhile, suspended.
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