2000 attack on USS Cole

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On 12 October 2000, al-Qaeda operatives carried out a suicide boat attack on the Burke-class destroyer, USS Cole (DDG-67), in the harbor of Aden, Yemen. Her captain was Commander Kirk Lippold, and she was part of the United States Fifth Fleet.

Seventeen United States sailors were killed and much damage done to the ship. Returned to the United States on the heavy-lift ship SS Blue Marlin, she was recommissioned on April 19, 2002, and returned to operational duty in November 2003.



HMS Marlborough, a Duke-class Type 23 frigate, was en-route to the United Kingdom from the Gulf at the time of the attack. Her commanding officer, Captain Anthony Rix, offered assistance which was accepted and she immediately diverted to Aden arriving later the same day.[1]



Retaliatory missile strikes were launched against al-Qaeda targets, but did not kill the leadership.[2]



  1. HMS Marlborough assists USS Cole, M2PressWire. Retrieved on 15 August 2017
  2. Raphael F Perl (September 1, 1998), Terrorism: U. S. Response to Bombings in Kenya and Tanzania: A New Policy Direction?, Congressional Research Service, CRS Order Code 98-733 F