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July 1st, 2004
Suicide Bombers
Map: Recent Suicide Terror: Yemen

On October 12, 2000, 17 American soldiers were killed when an explosives-laden skiff rammed the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole off the coast of Yemen, an attack some classified as the first naval suicide bombing. The bombing was soon linked to al Qaeda and was reportedly carried out by hardened fundamentalist veterans of the Soviet conflict in Afghanistan during the 1980s. Many of the Arab mujahedeen that had fought with the blessing of the United States in Afghanistan had turned violently against Western interests soon after the conflict ended, and Yemen had become a potential target for terrorist attacks after U.S. warships began docking there to refuel in 1998. Ten of the main suspects in custody for the attack escaped from a Yemeni prison in April 2003, but all were later recaptured and currently await trial.

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