Report: USS Cole Attack Cost 10,000 Dollars at Most

Published November 12th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The suicide attack which crippled the US destroyer Cole in a Yemeni harbor a month ago, killing 17 sailors, cost 10,000 dollars at most, a newspaper reported Sunday, quoting an Islamic radical. 

The damage to the Cole, initially estimated at 150 million dollars, will take a year to repair, the Pentagon said Friday. 

The London-published Asharq al-Awsat Arabic-language daily quoted Rifai Ahmad Taha, an Afghan-based official of the Muslim Brotherhood, as saying, "The whole operation, using a locally-made boat equipped with an agricultural engine, cost 5,000 dollars, 10,000 at most." 

"A military and not a civilian target was chosen so as not to attract accusations of terrorism," Taha added. 

"Even countries hostile to Islam could not condemn this action, because it targeted a state which supports Israel and its policies of occupation and expulsion of the Arab people." 

A boat blew up alongside the billion dollar state-of-the-art guided missile destroyer in Aaden harbor on October 12, blasting a large hole in its side. The ship is being taken back to the United States on a huge Norwegian recovery vessel, Blue Marlin under a 4.5-million-dollar contract. 

Asharq al-Awsat, which quoted no sources, said the US Navy had also boosted its fleet in Pakistani waters, and was similar to the time of cruise missile attacks on a base of alleged terrorist master-mind Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in August 1998. 

The attacks were launched after car bombs attributed to bin Laden's group by Washington wrecked the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. 

Bin Laden was quoted earlier this month as telling supporters he was satisfied by the attack on the Cole and "had thanked God" for it -- BEIRUT (AFP) 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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