Remembering the USS Cole Attack 20 Years Later

Orange life ring with the words "USS COLE" and "DDG 67" stamped on it.
Life ring recovered from USS Cole, on view in "Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden." Courtesy of the Naval Heritage Command, 2001–90–1.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the attack on the USS Cole.

On October 12, 2000, 11 months before the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. Navy destroyer was refueling at a port in Yemen when suicide bombers in an approaching motorboat detonated 1,000 pounds of explosives. The blast killed 17 and injured 39 crew members and created 40-foot hole in the side of the ship. The attack was attributed to a cell within the al Qaeda network and is critical to understanding the events of 9/11 and their aftermath.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum’s exhibition Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden explores what the U.S. government knew about Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda in the years prior to the 9/11 attacks. Visit Revealed online to learn more about the USS Cole bombing and events leading to the 2011 raid to find bin Laden.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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