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Sources: Yemen arrests suspect in Cole bombing

Nearby raid turned up 2 other suspects Friday

From Caroline Faraj
CNN

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A small boat filled with explosives damaged the USS Cole in 2000.

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Crime, Law and Justice

(CNN) -- Yemeni security forces have identified one of two men arrested Saturday as a suspect in the attack on the USS Cole in October 2000, the Interior Ministry said.

Ministry sources identified the Cole bombing suspect as Samir Abdullah Mohammed Ballaki. The sources would not identify the other man.

Sources said the two arrested Saturday were in the same area of southern Yemen where security forces arrested Cole suspects Jamal al-Badawi and Fahd al-Qusa the day before.

Al-Badawi and al-Qusa had been the last of 10 suspects still at large after escaping from jail in Aden, Yemen, a year ago .

Earlier this month, Abdul Raouf Nassib was arrested after a shootout with Yemeni security forces. Nassib was also among the suspects who escaped.

Last May, a federal grand jury in Washington indicted al-Badawi and al-Qusa on 50 counts related to terrorism, including murder of U.S. nationals and murder of U.S. military personnel in the Cole attack. (Full story)

There are 18 known suspects in the conspiracy to bomb the USS Cole. Many have been named as unindicted co-conspirators.

The Cole returned to duty April 19, 2002, 18 months after an explosives-laden dinghy pulled alongside the destroyer and blasted a 40-by-40-foot hole in the hull. The blast killed 17 sailors and wounded 37 others.

Yemeni security forces have been operating in the southern Ibyan governate of Yemen for the past three weeks.


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