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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 September, 2004, 09:52 GMT 10:52 UK
USS Cole bombers sentenced to death
USS Cole
Suicide bombers blew a hole in the USS Cole
A Yemeni court has sentenced two men to death over the bomb attack on the USS Cole, which killed 17 people in 2000.

Suspected ringleader Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who is currently in US custody, and Jamal Mohammed al-Badawi, were both given the death penalty.

Four others were given between five and 10 years in jail for the attack, blamed on Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

In October 2000, two attackers rammed the destroyer with a small boat laden with explosives in the port of Aden.



The defendants cried out "Allahu Akbar" [God is great] when the sentence was delivered.

"This is an unjust verdict, this is an American verdict," yelled Badawi, a Yemeni in his 30s.

His brother told the Associated Press news agency that all the men were likely to appeal against their sentences.

Jamal al-Badawi and Fahd al-Qusaa, USS Cole bombing suspects
Badawi (left) cried out in reaction to the verdict
Saudi-born Nashiri was the only defendant not in court in the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

He is being held in an undisclosed location by the US, after he was arrested in the United Arab Emirates in October 2002 and handed over to Washington.

He has been described as al-Qaeda's chief of naval operations at the time and its operations chief in the Gulf.

US officials say he is a close to bin Laden, and suspect him of involvement in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Suicide bombers

Fahd al-Qusaa, who the court heard filmed the USS Cole attack, was given 10 years in jail.

Maamoun Msouh was given eight years for helping fund the attack and assisting Badawi.

Ali Mohamed Saleh and Murad al-Sirouri were both sentenced to five years in prison for forging identification documents for one of the suicide bombers.

Some of the suspects escaped from a Yemeni jail in a break-out in May 2003, but were later re-captured.

Seventeen US sailors were killed and at least 40 people were wounded in the attack, which took place as the USS Cole was refuelling on 12 October 2000.

The Yemeni suicide bombers, Ibrahim al-Thawr and Abdullah al-Misawa, packed their small boat with up to 500lb (225 kg) of high explosives, leaving a gaping hole in the side of the Cole.

The Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer was considered one of the US Navy's most advanced warships. It has since been repaired and is back in service.

See the aftermath of the USS Cole bombing

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