US says key plotter in USS Cole attack may have been killed in Yemen

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The 2000 bombing of the USS Cole killed 2017/ (AFP)
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Jamal Al-Badawi was targeted by a US airstrike in Yemen. (FBI)
Updated 05 January 2019
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US says key plotter in USS Cole attack may have been killed in Yemen

  • One of the main plotters behind the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole may have been killed in Yemen
  • US forces conducted a precision strike Jan. 1 in Marib, targeting Jamal Al-Badawi

WASHINGTON: One of the main plotters behind the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole that left 17 American servicemen dead may have been killed in Yemen, the American military said Friday.
“US forces conducted a precision strike Jan. 1 in the Marib (governorate), Yemen, targeting Jamal Al-Badawi, a legacy Al-Qaeda operative in Yemen involved in the USS Cole bombing,” said Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for US Central Command.
“US forces are still assessing the results of the strike following a deliberate process to confirm his death.”
A rubber boat loaded with explosives blew up as it rounded the bow of the guided-missile destroyer, which had just pulled into Aden for a five- to six-hour refueling stop, on October 12, 2000.
Seventeen American sailors were killed as well as the two perpetrators of the attack that was claimed by Al-Qaeda, in an early success for the terror group and its founder Osama Bin Laden.
The chief suspect Abdel Rahim Al-Nashiri is being held in Guantanamo Bay.
Badawi was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2003 and charged with 50 counts of various terrorism offenses, including murder of US nationals and murder of US military personnel.
Apart from his alleged role in the USS Cole attack, in which he was said to have supplied boats and explosives, he is also charged with attempting with co-conspirators to attack a US Navy vessel in January 2000.
The FBI had placed Badawi on its most wanted list, offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.
According to the agency, he was captured by Yemeni authorities in connection with the attack but escaped from prison in April 2003. He was recaptured in March 2004, but again escaped in February 2006.


Israel cuts Gaza fishing limit after fire balloons

Updated 23 May 2019
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Israel cuts Gaza fishing limit after fire balloons

  • Israel reduced the fishing limit to 10 nautical miles
  • The countries agreed to 20 nautical miles in the Oslo accords of 1990s

JERUSALEM: Israel reduced the offshore fishing limits it imposes for vessels operating out of Gaza from Thursday after Palestinians floated balloons fitted with incendiaries over the border, officials said.
The cut came just two days after Israel restored the limits to those set in April ahead of an Israeli general election.
“A decision was taken this Wednesday evening to reduce the fishing zone off the Gaza Strip to 10 nautical miles until further notice,” said COGAT, the defense ministry unit that oversees such regulations.
“The decision was taken after the launch of incendiary balloons from Gaza toward Israel,” it added.
Palestinians in Gaza have frequently floated balloons fitted with firebombs over the border to damage Israeli property and have in the past succeeded in setting fire to large areas of farmland.
Israel banned fishing completely when two days of deadly violence erupted earlier this month, but lifted the ban with a restriction of up to 12 nautical miles following a truce.
The 15-nautical-mile limit that had been restored on Tuesday was the largest allowed in years by Israel, which has fought three wars with Palestinian militants in the enclave and has blockaded it for more than a decade.
But human rights activists note that it still falls short of the 20 nautical miles agreed under the Oslo accords of the 1990s.
Israeli authorities have not said whether the 15-mile limit was one of the understandings reached as part of the May 6 cease-fire in Gaza but Israel media reported on Monday that it was.
The additional nautical miles are important to Gaza fishermen as they bring more valuable, deeper water species within reach.
Four Israeli civilians and 25 Palestinians, including at least nine militants, were killed in this month’s exchanges across the border.