PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - There are more delays, bringing the alleged master-mind of the terrorist attack on the USS Cole to justice, adding to the frustration of the families of those killed. On October 12, 2000 a garbage boat full of explosives slammed into the USS Cole as it refueled in the Yemeni Port of Aden. 17 sailors were killed and 39 were injured.
Lou Gunn doesn't mince words, "The Department of Justice is not my favorite people, ok."
Gunn's beloved son, Cherone, was one of the 17 sailors killed in the USS Cole bombing. To date the ringleader Abd AL-Rahim AL-Nashiri remains in custody, but not charged. Gunn said he has waited too long for prosecution; he's immune to "wait", fatigue, "That don't bother me one bit, not one bit, because I know he's not going anywhere."
But Gunn is frustrated, and blames the Iraqi war as a distraction towards a Cole trial and justice, "The most frustrating thing about it, someone should have been prosecuted a long time ago. Someone should have been prosecuted in 2004, 2005, 2006."
Gunn has no use for former prosecutors who claim outrage that charges have not been brought. Lawrence Morris is a Former Guantanamo Bay Chief Prosecutor, "We'll go past the ten year point of the Cole bombing, and of course we're going to zip past the nine year anniversary of 9-11 without an indictment, and without anybody setting foot in a courtroom," said Morris.
Gunn responded to that, "Maybe that's why he's a former prosecutor because he didn't do what he was suppose to do ."
Cole families received compensation from the Government of Sudan for the bombing because the attackers were trained in Sudan. Gunn is upset with our own government for what he calls 'protecting' the Yemeni and Saudi Arabian Governments because of oil interests, "Right now the Department of Justice is blocking everything they can with this law suit." The lawsuit seeks $200 million for pain and suffering, "My pain and suffering was just like it was on October 12, 2000. There's no difference. It's the same level of pain I had then that I have right now," Gunn says.
Delays have continued because the Justice Department has responded to critics saying "no charges are either pending or contemplated with respect to Al-Nashiri in the future." This is thought to be a strategy to keep the Al-Nashiri trial in a military court, which his attorneys have called unconstitutional. The process continues to be drawn out.
"As long as I have an ounce of strength in me, I will continue to fight and talk and go after whatever Government I can for the sake of those children and their families (related to the victims of the USS Cole). That's my passion," Gunn said.
Gunn added that as frustrating as it is, he knows without a doubt justice will be served to bring the Cole terrorists to justice.
A court hearing on the Cole attack is set for October 16 in a Norfolk Federal Court.
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