At 12:15 p.m. local time, a motorized rubber dinghy loaded with explosives blows a 40-by-40-foot hole in the port side of the USS Cole, a U.S. Navy destroyer that was refueling at Aden, Yemen.

Seventeen sailors were killed and 38 wounded in the attack, which was carried out by two suicide terrorists alleged to be members of Saudi exile Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist network.

The Cole had come to Aden at the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula to refuel on its way to join U.S. warships that were enforcing the trade sanctions against Iraq.

It was scheduled to remain in the port for just four hours, indicating that the terrorists had precise information about the destroyer’s unannounced visit to the Aden fueling station. The terrorists’ small boat joined a group of harbor ships aiding the Cole moor while it was refueling, and they succeeded in reaching the U.S. warship unchallenged.

Their dinghy then exploded in a massive blast that ripped through Cole’s port side, badly damaging the engine room and adjoining mess and living quarters. Witnesses on the Cole said both terrorists stood up in the moment before the blast.

The explosion caused extensive flooding in the warship, causing the ship to list slightly, but by the evening crew members had managed to stop the flooding and keep the Cole afloat. In the aftermath of the attack, President Bill Clinton ordered American ships in the Persian Gulf to leave port and head to open waters.

A large team of U.S. investigators was immediately sent to Aden to investigate the incident, including a group of FBI agents who were focused exclusively on possible links to Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden had been formally charged in the U.S. with masterminding the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people, including 12 Americans.

Six men believed to be involved in the Cole attack were soon arrested in Yemen. Lacking cooperation from Yemeni authorities, the FBI has failed to conclusively link the attack to bin Laden.


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  1. John O’Neill was the lead investigator in the Cole bombing leading a team of 150 agents..
    [excerpt] It was later reported that O’Neill had told colleagues that he believed the Cole bombing was a Popeye cruise missile specially configured and launched from an Israeli Dolphin submarine.[/excerpt]
    After he retired from the FBI, John got a new job as “head of security” in the WTC and perished on the first day of his employment
    Tuesday morning 9/11/2001

  2. Yes OBL…CIA operative and all-around fall guy. A tantalizing precursor to 9/11 and all the Islamic terrorism BS. I was always amazed how the blast went into the ship, instead of away in the line of least resistance. One would think this thing was made of aluminum.

  3. The USS Cole was probably attacked by the Israelis like the USS Liberty only this time they got away with blaming someone else. Anyone who believes a bunch of Wiley Coyote terrorists with a Zodiac boot loaded with C4 could breach the hull of naval destroyer probably believes aluminum planes could fly through the WTC Twin Towers like Casper the Friendly Ghost.

    • You are exactly right. The question remains after 22 years…where is the inside/outside story with the Cole like 9-11, the 1983 Beruit USMC barracks bombing and assorted other Zionist hits? This one if it indeed exists never saw the light of day. Just like the 1982 Tylenol poisonings…they got away with it.

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