U.S. forces carried out an airstrike in Yemen on New Year’s Day targeting an Al Qaeda operative suspected of being involved in the deadly 2000 attack on the USS Cole, a military official confirmed Friday.
The offensive maneuver was carried out in the Marib Governate, Yemen, and directed at Jamal al-Badawi, Capt. Bill Urban, U.S. Central Command spokesman, said in a statement.
“We are aware of reports that Jamal al-Badawi was killed in a strike in Yemen,” Urban said. “U.S. forces are still assessing the results of the strike following a deliberate process to confirm his death.”
Al-Badawi is wanted by the U.S. government for his alleged part in the terrorist attack launched nearly 20 years ago against the USS Cole. The attack, which predated the 9/11 terror attacks, left 17 sailors dead.
“Jamal al-Badawi was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2003, charged with 50 counts of various terrorism offenses, including murder of U.S. nationals and murder of U.S. military personnel,” the statement said.
The suspect “is also charged with attempting with co-conspirators to attack a U.S. Navy vessel in January 2000,” it added.
Al-Badawi also landed himself on the FBI’s list of “Most Wanted Terrorists.”
Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin, Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.