Senior al-Qaida leader killed by U.S. drone strike in central Yemen

Senior al-Qaida leader killed by U.S. drone strike in central Yemen

A US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told CNN on Friday that Al-Badawi was struck while driving alone in a vehicle. The report strongly implied the attack was conducted with a drone aircraft.

The spokesman, Navy Capt. William Urban at U.S. Central Command headquarters, said Friday that the January 1 airstrike targeted Jamal al-Badawi (all-bah-DAWY).

The al-Qaeda militant had been on the FBI's most wanted terrorist list, and the US had offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest.

According to the agency, he was captured by Yemeni authorities in connection with the attack but escaped from prison in April 2003.

A terrorist thought to be a mastermind in the planning of the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000 was reportedly killed by an airstrike in Yemen earlier this week.

The Pentagon says an airstrike it carried out this week in Yemen targeted an Al-queda operative believed to be connected to the deadly bombing of the U.S.S. Cole that killed 17-sailors in 2000. Al-Qaeda's top regional official and overall second-in-command, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, was taken out by a drone in 2015.

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Al-Badawi, who was 55 or 58 years old, was killed on Tuesday when US forces carried out a precision airstrike in Ma'rib province, which is located to the northeast of Yemen's capital, Sana'a.

The man targeted, Jamal al-Badawi, is wanted in the United States for his role in the Cole attack on October 12, 2000.

The Cole was attacked by suicide bombers in a small vessel packed with explosives while in port in Aden, Yemen, for refueling.

Badawi had always been on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists and had been a high-profile figure in Al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization behind the 9/11 attacks.

Al-Badawi was charged with 50 counts of various terrorism offenses, including murder of US nationals and murder of USA military personnel.

He was convicted of plotting and taking part in the bombing in Yemen in 2004 but escaped from prison and, after handing himself in again, was allowed to walk free.

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