Craig Whitlock
The Washington Post
May 4, 2008

Editor’s note: The Post does not tell us that the bombing was carried out by the Islamic Army of Aden, funded by Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, who was connected to the 1995 Bojinka plot. Khalifa was a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, long ago penetrated by U.S. and British intelligence, and ran the Muslim World League in Peshawar, Pakistan, that is to say he worked for the CIA and the ISI during the CIA’s effort to kick the Soviets out of Afghanistan. As well, Ramzi Yousef, said to be involved in the plot, was a known CIA operative, also involved in Bojinka.

ADEN, Yemen — Almost eight years after al-Qaeda nearly sank the USS Cole with an explosives-stuffed motorboat, killing 17 sailors, all the defendants convicted in the attack have escaped from prison or been freed by Yemeni officials.

Jamal al-Badawi, a Yemeni who helped organize the plot to bomb the Cole as it refueled in this Yemeni port on Oct. 12, 2000, has broken out of prison twice. He was recaptured both times, but then secretly released by the government last fall. Yemeni authorities jailed him again after receiving complaints from Washington. But U.S. officials have so little faith that he’s still in his cell that they have demanded the right to perform random inspections.

Two suspects, described as the key organizers, were captured outside Yemen and are being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. Many details of their alleged involvement remain classified. It is unclear when — or if — they will be tried by the military.

The collapse of the Cole investigation offers a revealing case study of the U.S. government’s failure to bring al-Qaeda operatives and their leaders to justice for some of the most devastating attacks on American targets over the past decade.

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