Facts: In October 2000, the USS Cole was attacked by suicide bombers, while in port in Aden, Yemen for refueling. The attack was attributed to al Qaeda and foreshadowed the attack on the U.S. less than one year later on September 11, 2001.
The explosion ripped a hole in the hull of the ship, killing 17 U.S. sailors. Thirty-nine others were injured.
Timeline: October 12, 2000 - During a refueling stop in the harbor of Aden, Yemen, the USS Cole is attacked by suicide bombers in a small boat laden with explosives.
October 13, 2000 - The FBI arrives in Yemen to investigate the bombing.
October 16, 2000 - The Yemeni government acknowledges that the USS Cole has been the target of a terrorist attack. Initially, it considers the explosion to have been an "accident" set off by a detonation on board the ship.
October 30, 2000 - The USS Cole begins its return to the U.S., leaving the port of Aden. It is brought back to the U.S. by a Norwegian transport ship.
December 2000 - Yemeni officials arrest suspects Fahd al-Quso and Jamal al-Badawi. Additionally, U.S. and Yemeni officials identify Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri as a key figure in the bombing.
March 1, 2001 - Al-Jazeera broadcasts Osama bin Laden reading a poem mentioning the attack. ''In Aden, the young man stood up for holy war and destroyed a destroyer feared by the powerful.''
June 2001 - A video circulates showing followers of Osama bin Laden training in Afghanistan and singing, "We thank God for granting us victory the day we destroyed Cole in the sea."
October 12, 2001 - The USS Cole Memorial dedication ceremony is conducted at Norfolk Naval Station.
November 2002 - U.S. officials announce that Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, an alleged planner of the attack, has been captured and is being interrogated at a secret location.
April 11, 2003 - Fahd al-Quso and Jamal al-Badawi escape from prison in Yemen.
April 2003 - Pakistani officials announce they have arrested suspected USS Cole attack planner Walid bin Attash, also known as Khallad or Khalid bin Attash.
May 15, 2003 - The Justice Department announces indictments against Jamal al-Badawi and Fahd al-Quso for their roles in the USS Cole attack. Three unindicted co-conspirators are also named, Walid bin Attash, Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri and Osama bin Laden.
November 29, 2003 - The USS Cole departs on its first overseas deployment since the bombing. The hallway floor on the ship now features 17 stars, one for each of the sailors killed.
March 19, 2004 - Yemen security forces capture fugitives al-Quso and al-Badawi.
July 2004 - Yemen charges six men in the Cole bombing. Five accused in court are Jamal al-Badawi, Maamoun Msouh, Fahd al-Quso, Ali Mohamed Saleh and Murad al-Sirouri. Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri will be tried in absentia as he is in U.S. custody. Also, the judge names two of the suicide bombers for the first time, Ibrahim al-Thawr and Abdullah al-Misawa.
July 16, 2004 - Family members of the U.S. sailors killed file a lawsuit against Sudan for more than $100 million, alleging the Sudanese government provided support that allowed al Qaeda to attack the USS Cole.
September 29, 2004 - A Yemen judge sentences Jamal al-Badawi and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri to death for organizing the attack on the USS Cole. Fahd al-Quso is given a 10-year jail sentence, Maamoun Msouh, eight years, and both Ali Mohamed Saleh and Murad al-Sirouri are given five year sentences. Yemeni authorities say all six defendants belong to the al-Qaeda network.
February 26, 2005 - A Yemeni appeals court reduces Jamal al-Badawi's death sentence to 15 years in jail but upholds the death sentence against Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri. The court also reduces the sentence against Maamoun Msouh from eight to five years.
February 3, 2006 - Interpol announces Jamal al-Badawi's escape from jail.
September 2006 - Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, who has been being held at various undisclosed locations by the CIA, is transferred to Guantanamo Bay prison.
March 19, 2007 - Hearing transcripts are released by the Defense Department in which Walid bin Attash confesses to his role in the attack.
March 2007 - Pentagon transcripts of a military tribunal hearing are released in which Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri claims that he made a false confession about the Cole bombing because he was tortured. The CIA has previously admitted al-Nashiri was among terrorist suspects subjected to water boarding while being interrogated.
March 14, 2007 - Ruling at the end of a two day civil trial without a jury, U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar finds Sudan liable for the USS Cole attack.
July 25, 2007 - Judge Doumar orders the Sudanese government to pay close to $8 million to the families of the sailors killed.
June 30, 2008 - U.S. military prosecutors charge Guantanamo detainee Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri with murder for allegedly planning the attack on the USS Cole. Al-Nashiri is the first alleged Cole plotter charged by the U.S., and has been in U.S. custody since 2002.
December 19, 2008 - The Defense Dept. formally approves war crimes charges against Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri. Al-Nashiri has been imprisoned at Guantanamo since 2006.
January 22, 2009 - Seeking to close the Guantanamo prison within a year, President Barack Obama orders all Guantanamo detainee legal cases frozen pending a three-month review as the administration decides where or whether to prosecute the suspects.
January 29, 2009 - Military judge Col. James Pohl defies President Obama's order by scheduling a February 9th hearing for alleged Cole bomber Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri at Guantanamo.
February 5, 2009 - Susan J. Crawford, the top legal authority for trials at Guantanamo, drops all charges against Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri to uphold President Obama's executive order. The suspect remains in prison and may face new charges.
February 6, 2009 - President Obama meets relatives of victims of the Cole bombing and the September 11th attacks to explain his rationale for ordering the Guantanamo detention center to be closed and delay the military trials of terrorist suspects being held there.
April 20, 2011 - The Defense Department announces charges against Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri. He is charged with planning the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, the attempted attack on the USS The Sullivans in 2000, and the attack on the French oil tanker MV Limburg in 2002. He may face the death penalty.
September 28, 2011 - The Defense Department announces the "referral of charges" against Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri. This sets in motion a chain of events that will lead to the appointment of a military officer as the trial judge in the case and a meeting of the judge, prosecutors and defense lawyers in coming weeks. Nashiri's arraignment will take place within 30 days.
Casualties: Hull Maintenance Technician Second Class Kenneth Eugene Clodfelter, 21
Electronics Technician Chief Petty Officer Richard Costelow, 35
Mess Management Specialist Seaman Lakeina Monique Francis, 19
Information Systems Technician Timothy Lee Gauna, 21
Signalman Seaman Cherone Louis Gunn, 22
Seaman James Rodrick McDaniels, 19
Engineman Second Class Marc Ian Nieto, 24
Electronics Warfare Technician Second Class Ronald Scott Owens, 24
Seaman Lakiba Nicole Palmer, 22
Engineman Fireman Joshua Langdon Parlett, 19
Fireman Patrick Howard Roy, 19
Electronics Warfare Technician First Class Kevin Shawn Rux, 30
Mess Management Specialist Third Class Ronchester Manangan Santiago, 22
Operations Specialist Second Class Timothy Lamont Saunders, 32
Fireman Gary Graham Swenchonis Jr., 26
Ensign Andrew Triplett, 31
Seaman Craig Bryan Wibberley, 19