A terrorist the U.S. believed helped orchestrate the deadly bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, was reportedly killed in a U.S. airstrike in Yemen Tuesday, according to Capt. Bill Urban, a Central Command spokesperson.
Jamel Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al-Badawi was a longtime al-Qaida operative who was on the FBI’s list of most wanted terrorists. He was reportedly driving alone in a vehicle when death and eternal judgement rained down from the sky.
Officials told CNN that the airstrike was the result of a combined effort by U.S. military and intelligence agencies.
The guided-missile destroyer Cole was docked in Yemen on Oct. 12, 2000, for a standard refueling stop when a small boat filled with explosives came alongside the destroyer.
The explosion ripped a 40-by-60-foot gash into the ship’s side, killing 17 service members and wounding an additional 39.
Estimates claim that between 400 and 700 pounds of explosives were employed.
“Yemeni authorities took Al-Badawi into custody in December 2000 for his part in the attack.”
“In 2003, a grand jury indicted Al-Badawi with 50 counts of various terrorism charges, including the murder of U.S. nationals and military personnel. He was also charged with attempting to attack a U.S. Navy vessel in January 2000.
“Al-Badawi was later convicted of plotting, preparing and helping carry out the attack on the USS Cole. He was sentenced to death but his sentence was later reduced to 15 years in prison, the Associated Press reported.
“Al-Badawi, who was listed on the FBI’s most wanted terrorists list, escaped from prison in 2003 and was recaptured more than a year later. He managed to escape a second time in February 2006, according to the FBI.”
At one time, the State Department’s Rewards for Justice offered up to a $5 million for information leading to his apprehension.
After the deadly attack, Fleet Forces made significant changes in protocol and safety.
Capt. Sam McCormick, the anti-terrorism/force protection officer for Fleet Forces Command at the time, reported to the Military Times on the ten year anniversary of the attack.
“Doctrine, organization, materiel, logistics, facilities and personnel requirements have been modified and training had been ‘totally revamped,’ he said.
‘Ships in port began employing protective zones, security barriers and harbor security patrols. High-value units are escorted in and out of port, often by the Coast Guard, which has law enforcement capability.’
Plus, the rules of engagement around the world were “thoroughly reviewed and amended as appropriate,” McCormick said.
“One of the biggest pieces that came out of the attack on the Cole was truly a mindset change in the Navy,” McCormick said. “When you have a successful attack in which, tragically, 17 sailors were killed and a billion-dollar warship was significantly damaged, that changes the psyche of the Navy.”
And, these changes were just the tip of the iceberg.
Many people are extremely glad that a man who was responsible for the deaths of Americans has finally been sent to the afterlife, where most agree, he will face judgement for his vile, evil actions.
Others wonder why it took so long to catch up with this terrorist and suppose Obama’s and Clinton’s lackadaisical attitudes toward the ‘Arab Spring’ and allowing ISIS to gain massive territories had a role in allowing this man to escape justice for so long.