Conspirator of USS Cole attack freed from prison; US Criticizes Yemen on Terrorism
(WIKI News) Jamal al-Bedawi, one of the planners of the USS Cole bombing in 2000 that killed 17 American Navy personnel and injured 39 others in Yemen, has been freed from a prison in Sanaá, the capital of Yemen after he “pleaded allegiance” to the president of the country, and will be kept under house arrest with extreme security.
Al-Bedawi, who was serving a death sentence for his role in the attack, escaped from a Yemeni prison in February of 2006 along with another plotter of the attack, Fawaz al-Rabeiee, who has yet to be captured. Al-Bedawi turned himself in to authorities just over two weeks ago. 21 other militants, 13 of which who were members of al-Qaeda, also escaped from the prison.
United States officials have described the move as “disappointing.” “This action is inconsistent with a deepening of our bilateral counter-terrorism co-operation. We have communicated our displeasure to Yemeni officials,” said a U.S. National Security Council spokesman.
There has been no official information has yet to be released to the press about the decision or the conditions of al-Bedawi’s release.
Yemen denied on Sunday media reports that a man convicted over the al Qaeda bombing of the U.S. Navy ship Cole in 2000 had been set free.
US Criticizes Yemen on Terrorism
(AP) The White House sharply criticized Yemen on Friday for releasing one of the al-Qaida masterminds of the USS Cole bombing in 2000 that killed 17 American sailors.
Jamal al-Badawi, who is wanted by the FBI, was convicted in 2004 of plotting, preparing and helping carry out the USS Cole bombing and received a death sentence that was commuted to 15 years in prison.
He and 22 others, mostly al-Qaida fighters, escaped from prison in 2004. But al-Badawi was granted his freedom after turning himself in 15 days ago and pledging loyalty to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a senior security official in Yemen disclosed on Thursday.
‘The United States is dismayed and deeply disappointed in the government of Yemen’s decision not to imprison Badawi,’ National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.
‘This action is inconsistent with a deepening of our bilateral counterterrorism cooperation. We have communicated our displeasure to Yemeni officials and will work with the Yemeni government to ensure Al Badawi is held accountable for his past terrorist actions,’ he said.
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