Qaeda militant surrenders after Yemen jail break

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SANAA, Oct 16 (Reuters) An al Qaeda militant convicted of helping to plan the deadly bombing of a U S Navy vessel off the coast of Yemen in 2000 has surrendered to Yemeni authorities, a security source said today.

Badawi was one of the architects of the attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 U S sailors in the Yemeni port of Aden.

Badawi, whose death sentence had been commuted to 15 years in prison, is one of 23 inmates who escaped from a jail in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa in February 2006.

''Jamal Badawi surrendered a couple of days ago,'' said the source without giving further details.

Yemen, the ancestral homeland of Osama bin Laden, joined the U S-led war on terrorism after al Qaeda's September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

The poor country on the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula is viewed in the West as a haven for Islamist militants. It has witnessed several deadly attacks against Western targets and tourists including the bombing of a French oil tanker in 2002.

A U S judge ordered Sudan in July to pay almost 8 million dolars to the families of the soldiers who were killed in the attack on the Cole, in which al Qaeda rammed an explosives-laden boat into the American destroyer.

Sudan has denied involvement in the bombing and has said it would appeal against the ruling.

Reuters GL RN1842

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