He will NOT be missed
Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric linked to al Qaeda, was killed in a CIA drone strike in Yemen on Friday, U.S. officials said, removing a “global terrorist” high on a U.S. wanted list.
Awlaki’s killing deprives the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) of an eloquent propagandist in English and Arabic who was implicated in attacks on the United States.
“He planned and directed attacks against the United States,” one U.S. official said. “In addition, Awlaki publicly urged attacks against U.S. persons and interests worldwide and called for violence against Arab governments he judged to be working against al Qaeda.”
Earlier in his career, Awlaki preached at mosques in the United States attended by some of the hijackers in the September 11, 2001 attacks by al Qaeda, whose leader, Osama bin Laden, was killed in a U.S. raid on his hideout in Pakistan in May…
A Yemeni government statement said Samir Khan, an American of Pakistani origin, and two others were killed with Awlaki. Khan, from North Carolina, was an editor of AQAP’s English-language online magazine Inspire, which often published Awlaki’s writings…
U.S. drone aircraft targeted but missed Awlaki in May. The United States has stepped up drone strikes in Yemen to try and keep al Qaeda off balance and prevent it from capitalizing on the strife and chaos gripping the nation that borders oil giant Saudi Arabia and lies near vital shipping routes…
AQAP, which established itself in Yemen after Saudi Arabia defeated a violent al Qaeda campaign from 2003-6, has emerged as one of the network’s most ambitious wings, attempting daring, if unsuccessful, attacks on U.S. and Saudi targets.
“If he is dead, Awlaki will be difficult to replace,” said Jeremy Binnie, a terrorism and insurgency analyst at IHS Jane’s in London. “It’s a blow for AQAP’s international operations. Awlaki has helped the group build its international profile.”