USS Cole attack accused Jamal al-Badawi killed in airstrike
The al-Qaeda operative was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2003, charged with 50 counts of various terrorism offenses, apart from being wanted for his role in the terrorist attack against USS Cole.
Hailing the accomplishment of the troops, US President Donald Trump said justice had been delivered for the heroes lost and wounded in the "cowardly attack" nearly two decades ago.
"Our GREAT MILITARY has delivered justice for the heroes lost and wounded in the cowardly attack on the USS Cole. We have just killed the leader of that attack, Jamal al-Badawi. Our work against al Qaeda continues. We will never stop in our fight against Radical Islamic Terrorism!" he tweeted.
In October 2000, 17 sailors were killed when two men in a small boat detonated explosives alongside the guided missile destroyer in Aden. The blast left a gaping hole in the vessel's hull and wounded more than three dozen others, Al Jazeera reported.
The militant was captured by Yemeni authorities, but managed to escape from prison in April 2003. He was captured a year later, but once again managed to escape in February 2006.
Meanwhile, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the chief suspect in the attack, is lodged in a US detention camp in Cuba.