USS Cole Bomber Escapes from Prison

2-5-06 - SAN'A, Yemen (AP) - Authorities say dragnets have been set up around Yemen to catch 23 prison escapees, including 13 convicted al-Qaida fighters.

Security officials are trying to catch the men before they can reach Yemen's mountain regions -- and the protection of local tribes.

Interpol says the men escaped through a 140-yard-long tunnel dug with help from outside the prison.

The international police agency says the escapees include the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing, which killed 17 people. In fact, a Yemen security official says all of escapees have been convicted on terrorism-related charges.

An urgent global security alert has been issued, because authorities feel the men pose a "clear and present danger to all countries."