U.S. officials believe a drone strike killed one of the terrorists behind the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen.was wanted in connection with the deaths of 17 Americans who died in the attack on Oct. 12, 2000.
U.S. forces conducted a precision airstrike targeting al-Badawi on January 1 in the Marib governorate, said Capt. Bill Urban, a Central Command spokesperson. He said officials are still assessing the results to confirm his death.
In 2003, a grand jury indicted Al-Badawi with 50 counts of various terrorism charges, including the murder of U.S. nationals and military personnel. He was also charged with attempting to attack a U.S. Navy vessel in January 2000.
Al-Badawi was later convicted of plotting, preparing and helping carry out the attack on the USS Cole. He was sentenced to death but his sentence was later reduced to 15 years in prison, the Associated Press reported.
Al-Badawi, who was listed on the FBI's most wanted terrorists list, escaped from prison in 2003 and was recaptured more than a year later. He managed to escape a second time in February 2006, according to the FBI.
David Martin contributed to this report.