17 Sailors of the United States Navy died in a terrorist bombing of the USS Cole. One of those involved in the plot, Al Sabri, has been released to Saudi Arabia. Charges have never been brought. Justice has been denied those 17 Sailors. Their Commanding Officer at that time, Commander Kirk S. Lippold, USN, is rightly incensed. His men’s lives have been marginalized by a President only interested in emptying Gitmo before he leaves office. Shameful, at best.
As Written By Cristina Corbin & first appeared on FOX News:
USS Cole commander blasts transfer of Al Qaeda Gitmo detainees to Saudi Arabia
The man at the helm of the USS Cole when it was attacked by an Al Qaeda cell in 2000 said last month’s release of a Guantanamo Bay detainee linked to the bombers denies justice to the 17 people killed aboard the ship.
Kirk Lippold, who was commanding officer of the U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer when suicide bombers aboard a small fishing boat blew a hole in the side of the ship, told FoxNews.com Mashur Abdallah Ahmed al Sabri’s release was a mistake.
“I would have liked to have seen him receive a military commission where he was tried, convicted and sentenced and then his suitability for release determined under the laws of armed conflict,” Lippold said.
“From the perspective of the American people and my crew, he’s never been held accountable,” Lippold added.
In addition to those killed, 39 service members were wounded in the Oct. 12, 2000 attack, which came as the Cole refueled in the Yemeni port of Aden, nearly a year before Al Qaeda would register its signature attack, on 9/11.
Al Sabri, a 38-year-old Yemeni citizen who was born in Saudi Arabia, was at one point believed to have been a member of the terror cell behind the attack, although a subsequent assessment at Gitmo, like many done on detainees who have since been released, downplayed his role.