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Jamal al Badawi Jamal al Badawi al-Qaeda in Yemen Arabia 20060228 Link
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Trump confirms death of top Al-Qaeda leader responsible for USS Cole attack
[ALMASDARNEWS] US President Donald Trump
...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States...
appeared to confirm reports on Sunday that Jamal Badawi, an operative of the al-Qaeda terrorist group (banned in Russia) responsible for a 2000 attack on the USS Cole, had been killed in an Arclight airstrike.

"Our GREAT MILITARY has delivered justice for the heroes lost and maimed in the cowardly attack on the USS Cole. We have just killed the leader of that attack, Jamal al-Badawi." Trump wrote on his Twitter.

US media reported on Saturday that Badawi, who was indicted by a grand jury in 2003 for orchestrating the October 12, 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors, had been killed in the strike in Yemen
...an area of the Arabian Peninsula sometimes mistaken for a country. It is populated by more antagonistic tribes and factions than you can keep track of. Except for a tiny handfull of Jews everthing there is very Islamic...
on January 1.

On October 12, 2000, a small boat loaded with explosives crashed into the side of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Cole, killing 17 sailors and wounding another 39, leaving a gaping, 40-foot hole in the side of the ship.

Badawi, along with Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, Abu Ali al-Harithi and Fahd al-Quso, was named by the incoming George W. Bush administration as conspirators who organized the attack on behalf of al-Qaeda, which grabbed credit for the act. Tawfiq bin Attash has also been accused of organizing the attack.

Airstrike kills terrorist behind USS Cole bombing
[US.CNN] The terrorist behind the 2000 attack on the USS Cole is believed to have been killed in a US Arclight airstrike in Yemen
...an area of the Arabian Peninsula sometimes mistaken for a country. It is populated by more antagonistic tribes and factions than you can keep track of. Except for a tiny handfull of Jews everthing there is very Islamic...
on Tuesday, according to a US administration official.

Jamel Ahmed Mohammed Ali al-Badawi
...who except for a single mention on the FBI’s Top 30 Terrorists list was in our archives as Jamal al-Badawi ...
was an al Qaeda operative who the US believes helped orchestrate the October 12, 2000, attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors.

The official said all intelligence indicators show al-Badawi was killed in a strike in Yemen as a result of a joint US military and intelligence operation.

US officials told CNN that the strike took place in Yemen's Ma'rib Governorate.

While US Central Command, which oversees military operations in the region, later confirmed that al-Badawi was targeted in a strike, a front man said the US was still assessing the results.

"US forces conducted a precision strike Jan. 1st in the Marib governate
...the site of what is believed to be the biblical kingdom of Sheba...
, Yemen, targeting Jamal al-Badawi, a legacy al Qaeda operative in Yemen involved in the USS Cole bombing," US Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a front man for Central Command, told CNN in a statement.

"US forces are still assessing the results of the strike following a deliberate process to confirm his death," he added.

The administration official said that al-Badawi was struck while driving alone in a vehicle and that the US assessed there was not any collateral damage.

Army Arrests Malaysians Plotting to Carry out Terror Attacks in Lebanon
Army Intelligence succeeded in arresting suspects on charges of belonging to the al-Qaeda terrorist organization, reported al-Joumhouria newspaper on Thursday.

Security sources told the daily that the army jugged
Please don't kill me!
Malaysian nationals Rafik Mohammed Aaref and Mohammed Razin Shaaban on charges of being members of the organization.

They were jugged
Please don't kill me!
in a hotel in Beirut's Hamra neighborhood and referred to the Military Tribunal.

Investigations revealed that they were recruited to al-Qaeda by a Malaysian called Mustapha Mansour in Malaysia in 2007.

They then moved to Yemen where they met other members of the terror organization.

The security sources said that Aaref and Shabaan were jugged
Please don't kill me!
in 2007 and sentenced to jail where they met Jamal al-Badawi who is accused of the 2000 bombing of United States Navy destroyer USS Cole in Yemen.

Al-Joumhouria added that about two months ago, the suspects tried to enter Syria through Turkey on a jihadist mission and in order to carry out suicide kabooms.

Their planned attacks were coordinated with a man identified as "Abou Hassan," who is responsible for the entry of all jihadists to Syria, said the daily.

Aaref and Shaaban failed to enter Syria however and so they decided to head to Leb to carry out terrorist attacks.

Their activity was monitored however by the army intelligence.

They were soon jugged
Please don't kill me!
and investigations revealed that they were planning on contacting an individual in Leb in order to coordinate attacks.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula: A Primer
On a February morning in 2006, as Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, was jolted awake by the calls to prayer from the city's mosques, 23 Yemeni prisoners crawled their way to freedom.

They had spent weeks patiently digging a 140-foot tunnel that would extend from their basement prison cell to a nearby mosque. Among the escapees were Jamal al-Badawi, the alleged mastermind of the 2000 USS Cole bombing that killed 17 American sailors, and Jaber al-Banna, a Yemeni with U.S. citizenship who was counted among the FBI's 26 most wanted.

There was widespread speculation that the men had help from both inside the prison and out, only fueling fears about Yemen's revolving doors of justice. It wasn't the first time al-Badawi had escaped.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh's government vowed swift action, and while almost all of the prisoners, including al-Badawi and al-Banna, were later recaptured or killed, two of the lesser-known escapees eluded authorities.

Those men, Qasim al-Raimi and Nasser al-Wahishi, a 33-year-old former jihadist who fought alongside Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, disappeared into the largely autonomous tribal region outside Sana'a.

In the four years since, they have helped build what is known today as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, the Yemen-based group which was thrust into the spotlight following the botched Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit-bound passenger jet. Nigerian suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab claims that he received training and the explosives used in the attempted attack from the group during his travels to Yemen.

Though it may seem that AQAP has suddenly emerged as Al Qaeda's newest and most virulent branch, the organization has increasingly been demanding the attention of intelligence agencies. "The group's growing ambition and increasing strength really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention," says Princeton's Gregory Johnsen, one of the U.S.'s foremost experts on Yemen. "Just because people in the West haven't been focused on Yemen, doesn't mean Al Qaeda has not been active there."

In August, the group narrowly failed to assassinate Saudi Arabia's security chief, in a plot bearing similarities to the Christmas Day attack. The 23-year-old suicide bomber was on a Saudi most wanted list but managed to persuade officials that he was ready to repent and surrender directly to Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. He was even brought to see Nayef aboard the prince's private plane, apparently concealing the bomb in his rectum.

The bomber was the only one killed when the explosives were detonated (reportedly by a cell phone, but accounts of the attack have varied). He did, however, manage to get close enough to injure Nayef in the blast.

Yemen has had a long and complicated relationship with Al Qaeda, stemming back to the late 1980s when Arab veterans of the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan were welcomed back as heroes. In the conservative country, where bin Laden remains a popular figure, Saleh's government has always understood the importance of cooperating with Islamic leaders, and keeping the Arab-Afghan jihadists close. In 1994, four years after Saleh was proclaimed the president of the newly unified north and south, many of those fighters were dispatched to stop a southern attempt to separate.

President Saleh was, however, among the first foreign leaders to pledge his support to the Bush administration following the 9/11 attacks--a position he made clear during a November 2001 visit to Washington. A year later, an unmanned CIA drone killed the head of Yemen's Al Qaeda branch. Shortly thereafter, his replacement was arrested. While Saleh paid a high price at home for allowing the U.S. strike, the loss of the group's leaders, in addition to the war in Iraq that attracted hundreds of Yemeni jihadists, made it appear in 2003 as if Al Qaeda had been largely defeated in the country.

But three years later, al-Wahishi took advantage of the lapsed vigilance by the American and Yemeni forces and built his group. As Saleh's government tried to quell a northern insurgency and a secession movement in the south (still regarded in Yemen as far greater threats to the country's stability than Al Qaeda), al-Wahishi's group waged attacks on local oil and gas facilities.

In June 2007, a suicide bomber targeted Spanish tourists, and six months later two Belgians were killed when gunmen ambushed their vehicles. A series of other strikes followed, culminating in the September 2008 suicide bombings of the U.S. Embassy in Sana'a that killed 18, including the six assailants. Meanwhile, Saudi fighters were increasingly bolstering the group's ranks, since many had fled south across the border following Saudi Arabia's heavy-handed crackdown on extremists.

The Saudi and Yemeni branches of Al Qaeda made their "merger" official in January, adopting the name Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. A January 23 video broadcast on an Al Qaeda website identified the new Saudi leaders as Said Ali al-Shihri, a 35-year-old former Guantanamo Bay detainee who had been released in November 2007, and Abu Hareth Muhammad al-Awfi, identified on the video as Guantanamo detainee 333.

Embarrassingly for both Saudi Arabia and the U.S., due to past praise of the Kingdom's handling of Al Qaeda, the AQAP leaders had both participated in the well-funded Saudi rehabilitation program. Though al-Awfi surrendered to Saudi authorities a month later, al-Shihri is still an important figure within the group.

AQAP represents what many consider Yemen's second generation of Al Qaeda--and while the group may have ties to "Al Qaeda central," the organization appears to act independently. Counterterrorism officials believe AQAP has learned from its recent past and built an organization that can withstand the loss of its leadership. Savvy in delivering its message, the group even has its own magazine, Salah al Malahim (The Echo of Battle), which covers everything from biographies of suicide bombers to advice columns on how to become an Al Qaeda foot soldier.

Reports on AQAP's membership vary widely, with some Yemeni security experts saying they number no more than 50, while others believe there are more than 200 operatives in the country. Most of their goals still seem to remain local, as reflected in their statement following the Christmas Day attack that warned all non-Muslims in the Arabian Peninsula that they were at risk.

President Saleh faces huge challenges. He continues to struggle with crushing domestic woes, and he's simultaneously trying to attain a diplomatic balance between supporting the U.S.'s demands for action without appearing to be a puppet. His government also has limited influence in the tribal areas outside of Sana'a where AQAP has set up its base. Yemen's foreign affairs minister said he feared that situation wouldn't change until Yemenis stopped turning to their tribal leaders to provide what the government cannot.

"Yemen cannot really build a modern state unless we re-define the role of government," Abu Baker al-Qirbi argued when we talked in his office this summer about the rise of AQAP. "If one spends a fraction of the money that is spent on combating terrorism, on how to rehabilitate and how to address some of the issues that lead to extremism--education and poverty--maybe we would have achieved a greater success in fighting terrorism."

Home Front: WoT
Pentagon announces charges in USS Cole bombing
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon said Monday it is charging a Saudi Arabian with "organizing and directing" the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole — and will seek the death penalty.

Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann, legal adviser to the U.S. military tribunal system, said charges are being sworn against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi of Yemeni descent, who has been held at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since 2006.

The charges still must be approved by a Defense Department official who oversees military tribunals set up for terrorism suspects. If they are approved, al-Nashiri he will be the first person charged in the United States in connection with the attack nearly eight years ago. Hartmann said the allegations include conspiracy to violate laws of war, murder, treachery, terrorism, destruction of property and intentionally causing serious bodily injury. Seventeen American sailors were killed and dozens wounded when the Navy destroyer was attacked in the Yemeni port of Aden as it refueled.

Al-Nashiri is also accused of a role in the Oct. 6, 2002, suicide attack on the Limburg, a French oil tanker, Hartmann said. The attack killed a Bulgarian crew member and spilled 90,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Aden. Al-Nashiri told a hearing at Guantanamo Bay last year that he confessed to helping plot the Cole bombing only because he was tortured by U.S. interrogators.

CIA Director Michael Hayden said early this year that al-Nashiri was among terrorist suspects subjected to waterboarding in 2002 and 2003 while being interrogated in secret CIA prisons. Asked at a Pentagon press conference if evidence obtained from the waterboarding is tainted, Hartmann said that would be considered at any trial. "We will look at the evidence, all of the evidence that is associated with the case," Hartmann said. "While there has been an admission that there was waterboarding, there may well be other evidence in the case. That's not ... necessarily the only part of evidence in the case."

According to U.S. intelligence, al-Nashiri was tasked by al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden to attack the Cole, and also was al-Qaida's operations chief in the Arabian Peninsula until he was caught in 2002.

Hartmann read a charge sheet, alleging the following against al-Nashiri:

_He is a member of al-Qaida and met with bin Laden on several occasions.

_He rented apartments overlooking the port of Aden in 1999 to prepare for the Cole attack.

_His co-conspirators failed in an attempt to blow up the USS The Sullivans in January of 2000. Al-Nashiri and others salvaged the explosives and refitted the boat from that plot, then he went to Afghanistan to discuss reorganization of the plot with bin Laden.

_When the Cole entered the port on Oct. 12, 2000, al-Nashiri's co-conspirators piloted the boat next to the U.S. ship and detonated explosives that blasted a 40-foot hole in the Cole's side.

At his hearing last year, al-Nashiri acknowledged meeting with bin Laden many times and received as much as a half million dollars. The money, he said, was used for personal expenses, including for marriage and business deals. Al-Nashiri said he told interrogators that he used some of the money to buy explosives used to bomb the Cole, but in reality he said he gave the explosives to friends to help dig wells.
Yeah...ummmmmmmm...wells! That's the ticket!
He said he confessed to involvement in several other terror plots in order to get the torture to stop — including the 2002 bombing of the French oil tanker Limburg, plans to bomb American ships in the Gulf, a plan to hijack a plane and crash it into a ship and that bin Laden had a nuclear bomb.

"From the time I was arrested five years ago, they have been torturing me. It happened during interviews. One time they tortured me one way, and another time they tortured me in a different way," al-Nashiri said, according to the transcript. "I just said those things to make the people happy. They were very happy when I told them those things."
Yes, but did they pee on his Koran?
Asked why it had taken nearly eight years for the U.S. to charge anyone in the bombing, Hartmann said it takes time to gather and prepare evidence.

Another one of the alleged masterminds in the bombing — Jamal al-Badawi — was convicted in 2004 in Yemen of plotting, preparing and helping carry out the Cole bombing. He is wanted by the FBI, but Yemeni officials have said it is against their constitution to hand him over to the U.S.

The Bush administration maintains waterboarding was legal when it was used by CIA interrogators in 2002 and 2003 on al-Nashiri and top al-Qaida detainees Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah. Hayden said waterboarding was used, in part, because of widespread belief among U.S. intelligence officials that more catastrophic attacks were imminent. The CIA banned its personnel from using waterboarding in 2006.

Coddling terrorists In Yemen
By Ali H. Soufan

Seven years after al-Qaeda terrorists Jamal al-Badawi and Fahd al-Quso confessed to me their crucial involvement in the bombing of the USS Cole, and three years after they were convicted in a Yemeni court -- where a judge imposed a death sentence on Badawi -- they, along with many other al-Qaeda terrorists, are free. On Oct. 12, 2000, when I flew to Yemen to lead the FBI's Cole investigation, I had no idea how uncooperative the Yemeni government would initially be. Nor could I have imagined how disconnected from reality the U.S. ambassador to Yemen then, Barbara K. Bodine, would prove. I have hesitated in the past to share my view of the conflict between Bodine and the FBI's counterterrorism leader, John O'Neill. I feel compelled, however, to respond to Bodine's recent comments, which slander the efforts of many dedicated counterterrorism agents and divert attention from the significant terrorist problem within Yemen, our "ally" in the "war on terror."
The writer makes a pretty good case for hunter-killer teams. We know who the guys are with blood on their hands, and we know Yemen's not going to do anything of substance about our dead.
A recent Post report on Yemen allowing al-Qaeda operatives to go free offered insight into the challenges the FBI faced. Bodine was quoted in the article not urging the Yemeni government to rearrest the terrorists but, instead, denigrating the agents who investigated the attack. She faulted the FBI as being slow to trust Yemeni authorities and said agents were "dealing with a bureaucracy and a culture they didn't understand. . . . We had one group working on a New York minute, and another on a 4,000-year-old history." In fact, our team included several Arab American agents who understood the culture and the region. Even so, such comments were irrelevant. The FBI left Yemen with the terrorists in jail.

The Advantages of Gitmo
Almost eight years after al-Qaeda nearly sank the USS Cole with an explosives-stuffed motorboat, killing 17 sailors, all the defendants convicted in the attack have escaped from prison or been freed by Yemeni officials.

Jamal al-Badawi, a Yemeni who helped organize the plot to bomb the Cole as it refueled in this Yemeni port on Oct. 12, 2000, has broken out of prison twice. He was recaptured both times, but then secretly released by the government last fall. Yemeni authorities jailed him again after receiving complaints from Washington. But U.S. officials have so little faith that he's still in his cell that they have demanded the right to perform random inspections.

Two suspects, described as the key organizers, were captured outside Yemen and are being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. Many details of their alleged involvement remain classified. It is unclear when -- or if -- they will be tried by the military.
It just ain't fair, is it Mr. Craig (WaPo) Whitlock?

Al-Qaeda appeals trial begins in Yemen
A Yemeni court on Saturday began the appeal hearing of 36 Yemenis sentenced to jail last year for planning and carrying out attacks for Al-Qaeda, an AFP correspondent said. The men were sentenced last November to jail terms of between two and 15 years after they were convicted over an abortive twin attack on oil intallations in Marib and Hadramut provinces.

Among those in court on Saturday was Jaber al-Banna, a senior Al-Qaeda figure who was allowed to leave the court at the end of the session despite being sentenced to 10 years in absentia in the original case.
Just walked free, did he?
Banna holds joint US-Yemeni citizenship and is wanted by the US on charges of providing material support to Al-Qaeda. Washington is offering a reward of up to five million dollars for his arrest.
Triple it, and get Mahmoud the Weasel to work.
Yemen and the United States have previously clashed over Jamal al-Badawi, an Al-Qaeda fighter convicted of involvement in the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole off the southern port of Aden which killed 17 American sailors. He was subsequently temporarily released by the Yemeni authorities.

Al-Qaeda also launched an abortive attack in September 2006 on an oil refinery at Marib, 170 kilometres (105 miles) east of the capital Sanaa, and targeted petrol storage tanks at a terminal operated by Canadian firm Nexen in the southeastern Hadramut province at the same time.

Yemen's Deals With Jihadists Unsettle the U.S.
When the Yemeni authorities released a convicted terrorist of Al Qaeda named Jamal al-Badawi from prison last October, American officials were furious. Mr. Badawi helped plan the attack on the American destroyer Cole in 2000, in which 17 American sailors were killed.

But the Yemenis saw things differently. Mr. Badawi had agreed to help track down five other members of Al Qaeda who had escaped from prison, and was more useful to the government on the street than off, said a high-level Yemeni government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Mr. Badawi had also pledged his loyalty to Yemen’s president before being released, the official said.

The dispute over Mr. Badawi — whom the Yemenis quickly returned to prison after being threatened with a loss of aid — underscored a much broader disagreement over how to fight terrorism in Yemen, a particularly valuable recruiting ground and refuge for Islamist militants in the past two decades.

Yemen: Badawi back in jug
An escaped Al-Qaeda fighter who took part in the bombing of the US Navy destroyer Cole in 2000 is back in jail in Aden, a Yemeni police official said Tuesday. The whereabouts of Jamal al-Badawi prompted Washington to withdraw an aid package for Yemen earlier this week following reports that he had been allowed to return to his home after turning himself in. "Jamal al-Badawi is being held by state security in Aden. He is currently in a cell of a prison belonging to the state security service in Aden," the official told AFP.
"A comfy cell, but a cell nonetheless."
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, refused to provide other details of Badawi's detention.
"Yer honor! Yer honor! Does the cell have air conditioning?"
"I can say no more!"
Badawi was sentenced to death for the bombing of the Cole off Aden but escaped from prison in the Yemeni capital in 2006, along with 22 other Al-Quaeda militants.
Do you kinda get the idea they don't want to shoot him or stretch his neck?
Earlier this month, Badawi turned himself in and, according to witnesses, was allowed to return to his home in Aden in return for a pledge not to engage in any violent or Al-Qaeda-related activity.
"Honey, I'm home!"
"You're not gonna engage in any more violent or al-Qaeda related activity, are you, Dear?"
"Cert'ny not! I gave my word!"
"I'll get dinner!"
"Let's call out for Chinese!"
"Whoa, big boy! Is that a revolver in yer pocket, or are you happy to see me?"
"It's a revolver. Order me General Tso's chicken."
The United States had linked an aid package for Yemen to Badawi's imprisonment.
"Y'see this? This is money!"
"Umm... We don't see nuttin'!"
The October 31 signing of a 20.6 million dollar US aid agreement with Yemen has been "postponed until further notice," and no decision will be taken "until we can ascertain whether or not (Badawi) has been released," said a spokesman for the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) development programme.
This is known in diplomatic circles as a "snarl."
Yemen is the ancestral homeland of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
It's the ancestral homeland of the Queen of Sheba and, if memory serves, Philip the Arab, but none of that has anything to do with this story.
Washington on Monday admitted to being in the dark about Badawi's fate. "I can't say that we have a firm understanding of exactly what the situation is with respect to this individual," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.
"They weren't telling us anything until the money went away. That tells us lots."
After the Cole bombing that killed 17 US sailors Badawi was featured on a US list of most-wanted terrorists with a five-million-dollar bounty on his head. He was sentenced to death in Yemen in September 2004 for his part in the bombing, which was claimed by Al-Qaeda, but an appeals court later commuted the sentence to 15 years in jail.
Or until he "escaped," whichever came first.

Africa Horn
US Yemen aid linked to al-Queda suspect
THE United States has linked an aid package for Yemen to the imprisonment of an escaped al-Qaida fighter who reportedly was allowed to go home after turning himself in earlier this month.

Jamal al-Badawi was sentenced to death for the 2000 bombing of the US Navy destroyer Cole off Aden but escaped from prison in the Yemeni capital in 2006, along with 22 other al-Qaida militants.

Earlier this month, Badawi turned himself in and, according to witnesses, was allowed to return to his home in Aden in return for a pledge not to engage in any violent or al-Qaida -related activity.

The October 31 signing of a US$20.6 million aid agreement with Yemen has been "postponed until further notice", and no decision will be taken "until we can ascertain whether or not (Badawi) has been released," said a spokesman for the Millenium Challenge Account (MCA) development program.

It was not clear what Sanaa's position on Badawi was, but sources close to Yemeni security services told AFP their Government had negotiated Badawi's surrender with al-Qaida militants.

Yemen is the ancestral homeland of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden.

"I can't say that we have a firm understanding of exactly what the situation is with respect to this individual," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told a regular press briefing Monday.

"Suffice it to say, in our view, this is somebody that needs to be behind bars," he added referring to Badawi.

"He was part of - an active part of the Cole bombing plot. So he needs to be behind bars."

After the USS Cole bombing that killed 17 US sailors Badawi was featured on a US list of most-wanted terrorists with a US$5 million bounty on his head.

He was sentenced to death in Yemen in September 2004 for his part in the bombing, which was claimed by al-Qaida, but an appeals court later commuted the sentence to 15 years in jail.

The MCA said in a statement that its director John Danilovich had canceled a trip to Anan to sign the aid agreement and was considering Yemen's current standing with the MCA.

The MCA fund was created by President George W Bush in 2002. It links development aid to human rights and democratic improvements in recipient countries.

A Yemeni Government spokesman in Sanaa quoted October 26 by the local Saba news agency said Badawi had been interrogated by the interior ministry, but neither confirmed or denied reports that he had been released.

Top Yemen Qaeda suspect turns himself in, then checks out and goes home
Fugitive Al-Qaeda suspect Jamal al-Badawi, who was convicted for the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen that killed 17 American sailors, has surrendered to authorities, an official said Tuesday. Witnesses said Badawi — who featured on a US list of most-wanted terrorists with a five-million-dollar bounty on his head — had been allowed to return to his home in the southern port city of Aden. Badawi, one of 23 suspected Al-Qaeda militants who escaped from a prison in the Yemeni capital in February 2006, "gave himself up to security agencies," an interior ministry official said in a statement.

Two escapees remain at large. The others have either given themselves up or were arrested or killed by security forces. He was sentenced to death in September 2004 for the 2000 bombing of the US Navy destroyer Cole off Aden, which was claimed by Al-Qaeda, but an appeals court later commuted the sentence to 15 years in jail.

A witness in Aden told AFP that Badawi had returned to his home two days ago amid reports in the neighbourhood that authorities had allowed him to go home in return for a pledge not to engage in any violent or Al-Qaeda-related activity. Neighbours of Badawi confirmed seeing him at his home.

A source close to security services meanwhile told AFP that Badawi's surrender had come as a result of negotiations between Yemeni authorities and Al-Qaeda militants in the Arabian Peninsula country. The authorities are pursuing their hunt for the two other Al-Qaeda prison escapees who are still on the run — Kassem al-Raimi and Nasser al-Wehaishi &0151; who are considered among top militants in the group, the source said. The government is also trying to start negotiations with them through tribal mediators, the source added, requesting anonymity.

The Yemeni interior ministry had accused the fugitives of masterminding a July 2 suicide bombing in Marib, 170 kilometres (105 miles) east of Sanaa, which killed eight Spanish tourists and two local drivers. Badawi and the two fugitives are also among some three dozen Yemenis on trial on charges of planning or carrying out attacks for Al-Qaeda. These include an abortive twin attack in September 2006 on an oil refinery at Marib and petrol storage tanks at the Dhabba terminal operated by the Canadian firm Nexen in southeastern Hadramut province. A verdict is due on November 7.

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