- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 24, 2002

NORFOLK For John Clodfelter, the capture of the man accused of planning the attack that killed his son and 16 other USS Cole sailors is just a start.
Mr. Clodfelter won't be satisfied until he hears, once and for all, that Osama bin Laden is dead.
"He's the one," Mr. Clodfelter, of Mechanicsville, Va., said Friday. "When I see his dead body, then I'll know that they've gotten to the mastermind of everything."
Mr. Clodfelter said he was relieved to learn of the capture of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the chief of the al Qaeda terrorist network's Persian Gulf operations. U.S. officials said Thursday that al-Nashiri, a Saudi and a close associate of bin Laden, was captured earlier this month in an undisclosed foreign country and now is in U.S. custody.
U.S. officials have said that in the Cole attack, al-Nashiri gave telephone orders to bombers from the United Arab Emirates and may have provided money to the plotters.
"I'm hoping that they will get this guy back in the United States and prosecute him so I can be there," said Mr. Clodfelter, whose 21-year-old son, Kenneth, died when terrorists pulled an explosive-laden skiff alongside the Norfolk-based destroyer in Yemen on Oct. 12, 2000.
"I want to be able to face these people face to face," Mr. Clodfelter said. "I think I have that right to let these people know that hey, my son was one of [the Cole victims] and you're not getting away with this."
The capture, he said, was some good news at a time of year that has become very difficult for the family, with the holidays, the anniversary of the bombing and the birthdays of Kenneth Clodfelter and of his 4-year-old son all falling close together.
It was a sign that U.S. authorities "really are going out there and trying to get at" the terrorists, Mr. Clodfelter said. "They need to keep after these people until they've got them all."
Chief Petty Officer Norm Larson, who served on the Cole during the attack, said that he did not lose hope in the two years since the bombing that those behind it would be caught.
"After September 11 and the World Trade Center, we became old news I understand that," Chief Petty Officer Larson told the Virginian-Pilot newspaper for a story published Friday. "But I always figured it would take a while to get them, and it's going to take a long time to bring them to justice, too."
Olivia Rux, whose husband, Kevin, died on the Cole, told WVEC-TV that hearing that someone had been caught helps with the healing process.
"Every time someone is caught, the government is healing a part of me and saying, 'OK, this is what we've done; this is what we're still going to do; we have a long way to go,' and it's encouraging," Mrs. Rux said.


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