Supreme Court To Hear Sudan’s Appeal On Navy Ship Bombing

Sudan has been given the green light to appeal an award of damages for the bombing of the Navy ship USS Cole that killed and injured U.S. sailors almost two decades ago.

The damages, totaling $314.7 million, were awarded as compensation for 17 American sailors killed and 39 injured in the bombing of the Navy destroyer in a Yemeni port by a band of al Qaeda fighters said to be financed by Sudan.

According to reports at the time, the suicide bombers attacked the Navy ship which was in port in Aden, Yemen, for refueling. The explosion ripped a hole in the hull of the ship.

Fifteen injured sailors and three spouses sued Sudan saying it had provided funding, training and additional support to al Qaeda for the bombing. They sought assets in Sudanese banks to compensate for the injuries and deaths.

Sudan denied any links with al-Qaeda and made several unsuccessful attempts to have the case dismissed.

After a ruling in 2015 awarding the victims $314.7 million, two years later a New York federal judge denied a bid by the injured sailors to seize funds from a Sudanese bank, saying the bank is no longer owned by the country and calling their argument that U.S. sanctions still allow for its funds to be seized “unorthodox.”

Six men were charged by Yemen in the Cole bombing. One of them, Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, was held at Guantanamo Bay prison. Pentagon transcripts of a military tribunal are released in which al-Nashiri claimed his confession was obtained by torture, specifically water boarding. Al-Nashiri has been imprisoned in Guantanamo since 2006.

The damages were levied by default because Sudan did not appear before a lower court to defend itself against allegations that it provided support to the Islamist militants. Sudan contends that it had not been properly notified of the lawsuit, in violation of U.S. and international law.

U.S.-Sudanese relations have warmed since 2015 under Obama when it decided that the existing sanctions regime had been unsuccessful. The State Department now welcomes Sudan’s “recent efforts to increase counterterrorism cooperation with the United States.”

2 Comments

  1. Lorrie D. Triplett on June 28, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    Sudan, until this point never sent anyone to testify on their behalf. This is wrong for them to say they had nothing to do with the USS COLE BOMBING. They killed my husband and 16 other loving people, whose families is torn by this act. I can’t believe our government is going to let them get away with this. Stand up to them so my kids and other families can know that these people and this country took their lives. I’m so tired of this I can scream. Why are we giving them this appeal. They did it people.

  2. Lorrie D. Triplett on July 13, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    I hate what happened to the USS COLE. This BOMBING has messed up my life. To have your family destroyed behind stupid shit is so fucked up. People need to live and not think about oh, they don’t have people who loved them; they do and did. I’m so upset at every time I see an article on the COLE it hurt so much. What more do people have to know. The ship was bombed in this foreign country and now families are so FUCKED UP behind this and know one what’s to take responsibility. I have two kids who are grown now and cannot function behind the murder of their dad. Eighteen years have passed and an AMERICAN SHIP still has no justice. THE GREATEST NATION IN THE WORLD…. Bull shit. You can’t even give families justice behind the murder of SEVENTEEN SAILORS.

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