Conspirator of USS Cole attack freed from prison

Saturday, October 27, 2007

FBI photo of Jamal al-Badawi.

Jamal al-Bedawi, one of the planners of the USS Cole bombing in 2000 that killed 17 American Navy personnel and injured 39 others in Yemen, has been freed from a prison in Sanaá, the capital of Yemen after he "pleaded allegiance" to the president of the country, and will be kept under house arrest with extreme security.

Al-Bedawi, who was serving a death sentence for his role in the attack, escaped from a Yemeni prison in February of 2006 along with another plotter of the attack, Fawaz al-Rabeiee, who has yet to be captured. Al-Bedawi turned himself in to authorities just over two weeks ago. 21 other militants, 13 of which who were members of al-Qaeda, also escaped from the prison.

United States officials have described the move as "disappointing." "This action is inconsistent with a deepening of our bilateral counter-terrorism co-operation. We have communicated our displeasure to Yemeni officials," said a U.S. National Security Council spokesman.

There has been no official information has yet to be released to the press about the decision or the conditions of al-Bedawi's release.

Yemen denied on Sunday media reports that a man convicted over the al Qaeda bombing of the U.S. Navy ship Cole in 2000 had been set free.