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U.S. missile kills
The U.S. CIA killed six suspected al Qaeda members in Yemen last week by firing a Hellfire missile at the car the alleged terrorists were in.
Among the victims was Abu Ali, also known as Qaed Senyan al-Harthi. He was a former bin Laden security guard believed to have been involved with the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors.
The other five victims were reportedly Ali’s associates.
The missile attack was the first direct U.S. strike against the al Qaeda network outside Afghanistan since the war against terrorism began after the Sept. 11 attacks more than a year ago. The strike was conducted with the Yemen government having complete knowledge of it.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that the relationship between the U.S. and Yemen is “a good one and it’s ongoing.”
“As a result, we have some folks in that country that have been working with the government and helping them think through ways of doing things,” Rumsfeld said.
Ali has been at the center of a massive hunt by Yemen security forces, according to Walid Al-Saqqaf, managing editor of the Yemen Times.
President Bush did not comment directly on the latest incident, but did say that U.S. forces are consistently pursuing terrorists.
“The only way to find them is to be patient and steadfast and hunt them down. And the United States of America is doing just that,” Bush said.