President: Al Qaeda operative tied to USS Cole bombing has been killed

Jamal al-Badawi, the al-Qaeda militant behind the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, died in a U.S. air strike, President Donald Trump has confirmed.

Suicide bombers using boats full of explosives attacked the Cole, a guided-missile destroyer, while it was refueling at the Yemeni port of Aden in October 12, 2000.

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday morning that the airstrike killed al-Badawi.

"We have just killed the leader of that attack, Jamal al-Badawi", the US President added. Our work against [al-Qaida] continues. Al-Qaida claimed responsibility. "USA forces confirmed the results of the strike following a deliberate assessment process".

U.S. Central Command spokesman Capt. Bill Urban said in a statement Friday that the New Year's Day airstrike in the Ma'rib Governorate of Yemen was targeting Al-Badawi.

Al-Badawi was captured in Yemen and sentenced to death in 2004.

Al-Badawi was charged with 50 counts of various terrorism offenses, including murder of USA nationals and murder of US military personnel.

There was a $7 million ($US5 million) reward for information leading to his arrest.

The blast left a gaping hole in the vessel's hull and wounded more than three dozen others. The Yemeni authorities freed him-even though he was wanted by the FBI-in return for a promise that he would not engage in violent al-Qaeda activity. Islamic terrorists have carried out more 34,000 deadly terror attacks since September 11, 2001.

US fudges on timeline for Syria withdrawal as fighting continues
Man dies in Yosemite during government shutdown