Yemen seeks 2 al Qaeda operatives in Cole bombing
SANA'A, Yemen (CNN) -- The president of Yemen said Monday his security forces are seeking two top al Qaeda operatives in connection with the October 2000 suicide bombing of the USS Cole.
President Ali Abdullah Salih said his forces will not stop until the two are arrested or killed.
The men are identified as Hamdi Al-Ahdal, also known as Abu Assem, and Qaed Sunian Al-Harethi, also known as Abu Ali.
The two Yemeni nationals are said to have had extensive knowledge of the attack on the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen, in which 17 U.S. sailors were killed.
Photos of the two men have been distributed in several areas of Yemen.
Salih said he would like for the two to be interrogated in hopes of learning more about not only the Cole bombing but also al Qaeda attacks on two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998 and the September 11 attacks.
U.S. officials have said they believe al Qaeda members were hiding out in Yemen, and they concede that the government is not fully in control of the country.
The United States used Yemen to refuel ships operating in the Persian Gulf area, but the refueling stops ended after the Cole was bombed.
Salih said Yemen has been cooperating closely with the United States and, in his estimation, the port of Aden is safe for U.S. warships to return.
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