WASHINGTON COUNTY — The father of a Williamsport sailor who was killed aboard the USS Cole when terrorists detonated a bomb near the ship’s hull in 2000 said he was glad to hear that a U.S. missile strike over the weekend killed one of the architects of the attack.
Tom Wibberley, whose 19-year-old son, Seaman Craig Wibberley, died aboard the destroyer, said Monday that the death of al-Qaida operative Fahd al-Quso was long overdue.
“The more (terrorists) they kill, the better,” Wibberley said. “I don’t know if there can be any closure, but anytime they kill any of them, I’m glad.”
Craig Wibberley, a former Williamsport resident, was one of two Washington County residents who died in the attack on Oct. 12, 2000. Fireman Patrick Roy, formerly of Keedysville, also was killed. He was 19.
On Sunday, al-Quso was killed by a U.S. drone missile strike as he and another al-Qaida operative stepped out of a vehicle in Yemen, The Associated Press reported.
Al-Quso, 37, was on the FBI’s most-wanted list, with a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture. He was indicted in the U.S. for his role in the bombing of the Cole as it was anchored in the harbor of Aden, Yemen.
The attack killed 17 American sailors and wounded 39 others.
Tom Wibberley said he believed the best way to deal with terrorists was to kill them. He said captured terrorists are given too many rights and have learned how to abuse the U.S. legal system.
“They need to get a judge in there to put an end to it,” Wibberley said. “They’re just using our judicial system and our government is letting them do it. It’s just going to get drug out for years and it’s going to cost the government millions.”
Wibberley said he wished terrorists received the same type of justice as did Nazi war criminals in the 1940s.
“Why is everything so different from World War II?” he asked. “It didn’t take very long to try and convict them, and hang them.”
Craig Wibberley was buried at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church near Boonsboro.
Roy was buried at Antietam National Cemetery.
Roy’s parents could not be reached for comment.