US Drone Kills Two, Including USS Cole Suspect, in Yemen Strike

Yemen Officials Term Victims 'Top al-Qaeda Leaders'

A US drone strike attacked a vehicle in the Shabwa Province of Yemen today, killing two people, including Fahd al-Quso, who US officials have claimed played a role in planning the 2000 attack on the USS Cole.

Quso had been on the FBI’s most wanted list with a $5 million reward offered for his capture. This is the second time he has been reported killed in an air strike, the last time in 2009, shortly after which he denied his death.

The other person slain in the attack was reportedly Fahed Salem al-Akdam. Yemeni officials termed both of them “top leaders” in the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) faction. Yemeni embassy officials termed the deaths a victory for the newly elected (via a single candidate election) US-backed ruler Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Quso was indicted in 2000 over the USS Cole bombing, on claims that he was planning to videotape the bombing. Officials say it is unknown if he ever actually did so, and his prison stay in Yemen was comparatively short – he escaped in 2003 and has been at large ever since.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.