Yemen says at least three suspects in the Oct. 12 bombing of the destroyer, which killed 17 U.S. sailors, remain at large and are thought to be abroad.
The United States and Yemen have agreed that any suspects caught by American authorities outside Yemen will be tried in U.S. courts, the diplomats said on condition of anonymity. They did not say when the agreement was reached.
A Yemeni source close to the investigation said U.S. investigators were seeking Yemen's help in tracking down suspects in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The source spoke on condition of anonymity.
Yemen has refused a U.S. request to hold a trial for the detained suspects in America. Yemen is preparing to put at least six people on trial for the bombing.
On Thursday, the weekly military newspaper 26 September, which is close to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, reported that the criminal investigation was almost over and that the authorities have most of the details of the bombing, including its planning and execution.
Yemeni security sources said Thursday that U.S. investigators had been allowed to listen to witnesses and interrogate suspects in the bombing. Previously Yemen had declined to grant U.S. investigators such access, citing sovereignty. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity.
U.S. and Yemeni officials say they suspect that Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden is linked to the suicide bombing that nearly sank the USS Cole. But so far no investigator has spoken publicly of hard evidence that implicates bin Laden.
"Investigations have not so far proved, either to us or to the Americans, any link between Osama bin Laden and the Cole bombing," Interior Minister Hussein Mohammed Arab said in remarks published in the London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat on Wednesday.
Bin Laden, who lives in Afghanistan, is wanted in the United States for the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
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