|SLUG: 2-268719 Cole Investigation (L)||DATE:||NOTE NUMBER:|
TITLE=COLE INVESTIGATION (L)
DATELINE= STATE DEPARTMENT
INTRO: The United States says it wants to see more cooperation from the government of Yemen in the investigation into last month's terrorist attack on the Navy destroyer, the U-S-S Cole, that killed 17 American sailors. V-O-A Correspondent Nick Simeone reports.
TEXT: President Clinton has already written to Yemen's president, asking for his full cooperation into the Cole bombing. But the New York Times quotes unnamed U-S officials as saying cooperation has only gotten worse - and that F-B-I agents are not being allowed access to possible evidence obtained by the Yemeni government.
All the F-B-I will say on the record is that it continues to work with the Yemeni authorities. But at the State Department, spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters the United States still is pressing for full cooperation.
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We need more cooperation. We need extensive, we need different kinds of cooperation, different kinds of access to evidence, to information, different kinds of procedures. We're working those things out. We're making progress in that regard.
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But Yemen may not be as interested in resolving the bombing as the United States, if it turns out that a country the State Department calls a safe-haven for terrorists could be accused of shouldering some of the blame for lax security.
Tom Williams is a security expert at Security Management International, a company with expertise in protecting corporate and government assets around the world.
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If the witnesses have information that would point in any wrong directions, the Yemenis would want to make sure that they could control that information. Also there's issues on sovereignty. The Yemenis, could, if they already know what the information is entailing, there could be retribution against the Yemeni government.
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In neighboring Saudi Arabia, the investigation into a terrorist attack four years ago on the Khobar Towers military housing complex that killed 19 Americans still remains unresolved. In that case as well, the F-B-I complained that Saudi authorities had not allowed its agents access to certain suspects. (Signed)