USS Cole Investigation Under Way in Yemen
By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2000 -- The U.S. inquiry is under way
into the Oct. 12 terrorist bombing of the destroyer USS
Cole in Aden, Yemen, Defense Secretary William S. Cohen
told reporters here Oct. 16.
The toll in the Cole attack is seven sailors confirmed
dead, 10 sailors missing and presumed dead, and more than
30 others injured. Navy officials estimated Oct. 16 that
ongoing recovery operations would retrieve the remains of
all the dead by Oct. 19.
Cohen spoke to the press shortly before departing Andrews
Air Force Base, Md., to attend the fourth annual Defense
Ministerial of the Americas in Manaus, Brazil. Scheduled to
spend four days in Brazil and overnighters in Chile and
Argentina, he cut the trip to a single day in Manaus to
attend an Oct. 18 memorial service in Norfolk, Va., for the
Cole's blast victims.
"There's been quite an influx of personnel both military,
Justice, FBI and Navy investigators, SEAL teams, etc.,"
Cohen said. He said the USS Tarawa, amphibious transport USS
Duluth and dock landing ship USS Anchorage are off the coast
of Yemen to provide additional berthing for the U.S. teams
that have arrived on the scene.
Pentagon officials Oct. 16 also placed the frigate USS Hawes,
combat support ship USS Camden and destroyer USS Donald Cook
in support roles in Aden, Yemen.
"We're getting full cooperation from the Yemeni government.
Everything we have asked for they are now providing,
according to the ambassador," Cohen noted. The United
States, he said, expects Yemen to continue to fully
cooperate with the FBI and others who are trying to track
down the individuals associated with the attack and to
investigate any security breeches that may have occurred.
Cohen would not discuss security, saying only that U.S.
forces take appropriate measures when they are in dangerous
areas. "I think I'll just leave it at that until we have
more information," he said.
No early warnings have emerged, though, the secretary told
reporters. "We receive (warnings) every day around the
globe," Cohen said. "We try to analyze (them) for their
credibility, specificity, or lack of it. All I can tell you
today is there was no indication that we had of a specific
plan against this ship."
He told reporters he had no information on the force of the
blast. Several groups claim responsibility for the attack,
but no claim has been confirmed, he said.
U.S. officials will conclude the inquiry as soon as
possible, he added.
The Navy announced a contract award Oct. 16 to a Norwegian
company for use of its unusual transport, the Blue Marlin,
which will haul the Cole piggyback to its home port of
Norfolk. The Navy created a USS Cole Web site with that story and
extensive links at