Two Yemenis sentenced to death for USS Cole attack [Archives:2004/777/Front Page]
The Sana’a Penal Court sentenced two Yemeni al Qaeda militants to death on Wednesday and jailed and sentenced four others to prison terms ranging from five to 10 years for the 2000 bombing of the U.S. destroyer Cole, which killed 17 American sailors.
Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri held in the US custody and who is believed to be the mastermind of the operation and Jamal al-Badawi, were both sentenced to death for orchestrating, plotting, preparing and involvement in the bombing of the US warship.
Judge Najib al-Qaderi sentenced Fahd al-Qiss’e to 10 years in jail for filming the bombing. The court said that al- Qiss’e had traveled to Afghanistan in 1997 to train at an al Qaeda terrorist camp.
The fourth convicted person Mamoon Amswah received an eight-year prison term for delivering money used in preparing and executing the attack and playing a close role in assisting al-Badawi.
Ali Mohamed Murakab and Murad al-Sirouri were both sentenced to five years in prison for forging identification documents for Hasan al-Khameri under the name of Abdullah Ahmad Khaled al-Misawa, one of the suicide bombers.
The six men were all charged with belonging to al Qaeda and playing various roles in the attack on the Cole, which was carried out by suicide bombers Ibrahim al-Thawr and Hasan al-Khameri, who rammed an explosives-laden boat into the destroyer. The two traveled to Thailand and received $36, 000 from al-Nisheri for the terrorist operation. The court judge said it was clear to him that the convicted six militants were found guilty, setting up an armed gang to carry out terrorist acts, including the attack on the USS Cole.
Upon hearing the sentence the six defendants broke into cries of \”Allahu Akbar\””.
\””This is an unjust verdict , this is an American verdict,” screamed Jamal al-Badawi when he was handed the death penalty. He said that the court, the prosecution and the government did not have a hand in the verdict that was totally ” an American”. His father also condemned the verdict, appealing to President Ali Abdullah Saleh for leniency in the sentencing of his son.” the court verdict was already passed three years ago,” he screamed while talking to reporters outside the courtroom.
It is expected that the appeal would delay the execution of the two men and may also bring evidence of the involvement of new individuals in the attack. American families of the victims expressed partial relief at the sentence but demanded that all evidence be unveiled to ensure that the elements of the network behind the attack be prosecuted.