USS Cole bombing

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The USS Cole Bombing, or the USS Cole Incident, was a suicide attack against the United States Navy destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) on October 12, 2000 while it was harbored and refueling in the Yemeni port of Aden. Seventeen American sailors were killed, and 39 were injured. This event was the deadliest attack against a United States Naval vessel since 1987.

The terrorist organization al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack. A U.S. judge has held Sudan liable for the attack, whilst another has released over $13 million in Sudanese frozen assets to the relatives of those killed. The American Navy has reconsidered their rules of engagement in response to this attack.

Contents

The attack

On October 12, 2000, USS Cole, under the command of Commander Kirk Lippold, set in to Aden harbor for a routine fuel stop. Cole completed mooring at 09:30. Refueling started at 10:30. Around 11:18 local time (08:18 UTC), a small craft approached the port side of the destroyer, and an explosion occurred, putting a 40-by-40-foot gash in the ship's port side according to the memorial plate to those who lost their lives. According to former CIA intelligence officer Robert Finke, the blast appeared to be caused by explosives molded into a shaped charge against the hull of the boat.[1] Around 400 to 700 pounds of explosive were used.[2] The blast hit the ship's galley, where crew were lining up for lunch.[3] The crew fought flooding in the engineering spaces and had the damage under control by the evening. Divers inspected the hull and determined the keel was not damaged.

Seventeen sailors were killed and 39 others were injured in the blast. The injured sailors were taken to the United States Army's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center near Ramstein, Germany and later, back to the United States. The attack was the deadliest against a U.S. Naval vessel since the Iraqi attack on the USS Stark (FFG-31) on May 17, 1987.

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