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  • Awlaki Death: Another Blow to Al-Qaeda

    According to media reports, Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni-American Islamist radical who played an increasingly influential role in the al-Qaeda network, was killed in a CIA drone strike earlier today in Yemen. Awlaki was reported to have been killed at least twice before, and one of his brothers reportedly already has denied today’s report of his death, but U.S. government officials and Yemeni officials appear to be certain of his death this time.

    Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric linked to al Qaeda's Yemen-based wing

    An ultra-radical Islamist ideologue, Awlaki had played an important role in promulgating al-Qaeda’s violent ideology, recruiting young Muslims, particularly in the West, and inciting them to engage in terrorist attacks. Born in the U.S., the charismatic Awlaki was one of few al-Qaeda leaders who had a proven record of inciting terrorism by American Muslims.

     

    Awlaki was linked to several terrorist attacks in the U.S., including the 2009 shootings at Ft. Hood by Major Nidal Hasan that killed 13 people; the botched 2009 Christmas Day attack by the “underwear bomber”; and the failed attempt to detonate a car bomb in New York’s Times Square in May 2010.

    Awlaki also was known to be close associate of at least two of the 9/11 hijackers and served as their “spiritual guide” while he served as a preacher at mosques in San Diego and Falls Church, Virginia.

    Awlaki left the United States in 2002 and spent two years preaching jihad in Great Britain before moving to Yemen in 2004. Yemen, the ancestral homeland of Osama bin Laden, long has been an important staging area for al-Qaeda terrorist attacks. While in Yemen, he was protected by his father’s kinsmen, the powerful Awlaki tribe.

    After he fled to Yemen, Awlaki declared open war on the United States. He served as part of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) “Foreign Operations Unit” and appears to have played an increasingly operational role in AQAP’s terrorist operations.

    Awlaki reportedly was killed while riding in a convoy in Yemen. Killed along with him was Samir Khan, a Pakistani-American who reportedly edited the al-Qaeda online propaganda newsletter, Inspire.

    Terrorism experts believe that Awlaki will be difficult to replace due to his high-profile role as an ideological publicist and recruiter, particularly for English-speaking Muslims open to al-Qaeda’s violent ideology.

    But the United States must remain vigilantly engaged in combating terrorism in Yemen, which has been destabilized by an intensifying civil war, as well as winning the long war against al-Qaeda.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Awlaki Death: Another Blow to Al-Qaeda

    1. West Texan says:

      If the report is accurate, it's certainly good news about the demise of another high profile al Qaeda thug. Make way for Awlaki's malicious soul as it now belongs to the Devil.

    2. akagiredsun1 says:

      Several civil liberty groups are condemning the assassination, as Awlaki was an American citizen, and was denied due process. I would assume declaring yourself an enemy of your nation, while fomenting attacks on it from foreign territory would be enough to nullify his citizenship, but perhaps not. What do the Heritage experts say in regards to handling this citizenship issue in regards to the War on Terror? Clearly, we should not be handicapped in fighting the war just because a homegrown Jihadi hides behind citizenship papers… Is there a legal precedence for citizens-turned-rogue combatants?

      • West Texan says:

        The word "assassination" is misleading. A better term is "self-defense". Awlaki was a real threat to the lives of American citizens and service members. He's now been stopped from pursuing his malevolent game. I agree with your comment.

    3. Cary says:

      How long before we target the Vice President's terrorists? It's a slippery slope. Rather bring him home, prosecute, convict and execute. The constitution matters.

      • West Texan says:

        Does the 5th Amendment apply wherein it states " … except in cases arising in … time of War or public danger …"? I'd say Awlaki qualified on both accounts. This New Mexico born Yemeni propagandist voided his U.S. citizenship when he joined sides with a war time enemy who has contributed to the murder and mayhem of thousands of innocent Americans. Enough said.

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