There is a five-million dollar reward for information leading to his arrest.
The airstrike precisely targeted a vehicle carrying Badawi who was travelling alone near al-Qaida-held area in al-Bayda, the source said.
The Pentagon says an airstrike it carried out this week in Yemen targeted an Al-queda operative believed to be connected to the deadly bombing of the U.S.S. Cole that killed 17-sailors in 2000.
U.S. Central Command spokesman Navy Capt. William Urban identified the man as al-Qaida militant Jamal al-Badawi in a statement to NBC News. In the same year, a grand jury indicted him on 50 counts of different terrorism charges, including the killing of USA nationals and military personnel.
The USS Cole, a Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, was preparing to refuel in a Yemeni harbor on October 12, 2000, when a group of small boats from the country's port authority approached to help tie the ship to buoys.
The bombing of the USS Cole, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, occurred while the warship was refueling at the harbor of Aden.
"We are aware of reports that Jamal al-Badawi was killed in a strike in Yemen", Urban said. He was recaptured in March 2004 and sentenced to death, but almost two years later he managed to escape a second time. The court upheld today one death sentence against an Al-Qaeda militant and commuted Badawi's sentence to 15 years in prison for the 2000 bombing of the U.S. navy destroyer Cole in Yemen. However, he escaped from a Yemeni prison in April 2003, was recaptured in March 2004 and again escaped in February 2006.