Fahd al-Quso, a leading figure in al-Qaeda in Yemen, was killed by a CIA drone strike according to US officials. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2003 for his suspected role in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 US sailors and injured 39 others in the port of Aden in Yemen. He was being held in a Yemeni prison but escaped. He was captured again but only served 3 years and could not be extradited to the US for lack of extradition treaty.
Quso’s co-defendant in the Cole indictment, Jamal al-Badawi, allegedly bought the boat and a truck to tow it to Aden harbor and rented a safe house to store it. One of Quso’s jobs in the plot, according to the indictment, was to retrieve and hide the car and trailer used to tow the attack boat into position.
On Oct. 12, 2000, the day on which two al Qaeda suicide bombers struck the Cole, Quso was meant to videotape the attack in the hills above the Port of Aden for use in al Qaeda propaganda. Quso failed to do so, later telling an FBI agent who interrogated him in Yemen that he had overslept.
The man accused of masterminding the bombing of the USS Cole, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, is currently being held at Guantanamo Bay. His trial does not begin until November 2012 but his pre-trial hearings are proving to be challenging to the prosecution since he is expected to testify about the more than four years he spent in secret CIA prisons.
Lawrence Wright, author of the book, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, talks to America Abroad on the program, Remembering the Cole, to discuss the USS Cole bombing and its implications for 9/11.