by Lou Binninger
Those graduating from high school this year were not alive when Al Qaeda terrorists bombed the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen on October 12, 2000. Nor have students been told the truth by government schools and the main stream media that Muslims have been on a terror rampage since the Munich, Germany Summer Olympics in 1972.
In 2017, a call for assistance for a young suicidal naval veteran was a reminder that the damage on the USS Cole was not limited to 17 fatalities and 40 injured. The young man in crisis once stood guard in the ship for hours among his dead shipmates until the scene could be processed. Seventeen years later he was still struggling to survive the experience.
Four killed that day were in their early thirties while 13 of the dead were just 19-24 years old. Family members suffer to this day and search for any morsel of comfort from the lingering investigation and court proceedings.
So, President Trump’s mention that on January 1, 2019 the US military killed Jamal al-Badawi, the Yemeni terrorist accused of leading the attack, was bitter-sweet relief for those grieving their loss.
Trump’s tweet read, “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.”
The ship had been refueling in the Yemeni Port of Aden when attacked. A small boat carrying C4 explosives and two suicide bombers rammed the port side of the destroyer creating a huge gash. Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden celebrated the attack which occurred just one year prior to the September 11, 2001 multi-faceted terrorist strike on the US.
A U.S. Grand Jury indicted Badawi in 2003 for his part in the bombing and charged him with 50 counts of terrorism-related offenses, including the murder of American citizens and U.S. military personnel.
In April 2003, Pakistani officials arrested suspected USS Cole attack planner Walid bin Attash.
Yemeni authorities held Badawi until April 2003 when he escaped. In March 2004 he was recaptured but fled again in February 2006. The FBI offered a reward of $5 million for information leading to his capture. The January 1 strike killed him while driving alone east of the Yemeni capital of San’a.
Five men accused in Yemeni court in July 2004 were al-Badawi, Maamoun Msouh, Fahd al-Quso, Ali Mohamed Saleh and Murad al-Sirouri. Abd Al-Nashiri, mastermind of the attack, was to be tried in absentia since he was detained at Guantanamo Bay. The judge also named the two suicide bombers for the first time, Ibrahim al-Thawr and Abdullah al-Misawa. Al-Nashiri was sentenced by a Yemeni court to death though still in American custody.
On July 16, 2004, family members of the sailors killed filed a lawsuit against Sudan for more than $100 million, alleging the Sudanese government provided support that enabled the al Qaeda attack. On March 14, 2007 US District Judge Doumar found Sudan liable for the USS Cole attacks and ordered Sudan to pay $8 million to the families.
In 2010, fifteen injured sailors and three surviving spouses filed a federal lawsuit making similar claims against the Sudanese government. The plaintiffs accused the Republic of Sudan of funding, training and giving additional support to al Qaeda. They sought assets in Sudanese banks to compensate for the injuries and deaths.
On March 30, 2012, the US District Court issued a final judgment awarding $314,705,896 in compensatory and punitive damages to the plaintiffs. On September 23, 2015, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Sudanese government's appeal and ordered Sudanese bank assets to be turned over to family members.
The bitter irony is that since 1955 the U.S. has been the world’s largest source of aid to Sudan. In fiscal year 2008-2009 alone the US gave Sudan $ 901 million. That is painful for families that see their tax dollars assisting a government complicit in the murder of their loves ones.
More than $50 billion annually is spent in foreign aid including funds to many nations unfriendly to the US. This makes no sense especially when liberals say that spending $5 billion for a wall to protect Americans on our southern border is a bad value.