Thursday, December 16, 2010
Suspect in USS Cole bombing was reported killed by U.S. drone strike in Pakistan
By Michael Isikoff
National investigative correspondent
NBC News NBC News
updated 2 hours 2 minutes ago
NEW YORK — A key al-Qaida figure wanted by the FBI for the murder of 17 U.S. sailors aboard the USS Cole reportedly has resurfaced in Yemen despite reports two months ago that he had been killed in a CIA drone strike in Pakistan.
The apparent re-emergence of Fahd al Quso, defiant and healthy, shows yet again that some reports about the deaths of top terrorist targets in northwest Pakistan ultimately prove to be inaccurate. To prove that he is alive, al Quso permitted his photograph to be taken with Arafat Mudabish, a Yemeni journalist who interviewed him last week.
“As you see in the photo, he was fine,” Mudabish told NBC News in a telephone interview from Yemen. “He lives in an isolated mountain area where there is no Yemeni government presence. The tribesmen are protecting him. … His health was obviously good.”
U.S. and Yemeni officials did not dispute the authenticity of the interview with al Quso.
"We have every reason to believe he is alive," said a U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "Sadly, he is still causing trouble." A Yemeni official, who also asked not to be identified by name, said: "We never said he (al Quso) was killed. It was the Pakistanais and the Germans that said he was killed...
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