Militant Tied to Bombing of U.S.S. Cole Said to Be Killed
A senior Qaeda militant in Yemen linked to the deadly bombing of an American warship there in 2000 was killed in an airstrike on Sunday, the Yemeni government said, in the latest sign of an escalating American campaign to counter the terrorist threat there.
Yemeni authorities said the militant, Fahd Mohammed Ahmed al-Quso, 37, who has been on the F.B.I.’s Most Wanted list in connection with the bombing of the Navy destroyer Cole that killed 17 sailors in October 2000, died in the strike in Shabwa Province in one of the rugged tribal areas controlled by insurgents.
The Yemen Embassy here in Washington described him as “a leading figure in the terrorist organization Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” using the affiliate’s full name.
Yet even as Yemeni authorities were announcing Mr. Quso’s death, American officials said they needed a few days to confirm the strike and any casualties. Because so many of Al Qaeda’s senior leaders in Pakistan have been killed or captured, including Osama bin Laden, the Qaeda affiliate in Yemen is considered by American counterterrorism specialists as the one posing the most immediate threat to the United States.