Skip to comments.Breaking: Awlaki dead? Update: American Samir Khan also killed
Posted on 09/30/2011 9:47:18 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
The New York Times reports this morning that officials in both Yemen and Washington claim that American-born Al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki has reached room temperature somewhere in Yemen:
In a significant and dramatic strike in the campaign against Al Qaeda, the Defense Ministry here said American-born preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, a leading figure in the groups outpost in Yemen, was killed on Friday morning.
In Washington a senior Obama administration official confirmed that Mr. Awlaki was dead. But the circumstances surrounding the killing remained unclear.
It was not immediately known whether Yemeni forces carried out the attack or if American intelligence forces, which have been pursuing Mr. Awlaki for months, were involved in the operation.
A Defense Ministry statement said that a number of Mr. Awlakis bodyguards also were killed.
A high-ranking Yemeni security official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that Mr. Awlaki was killed while traveling between Marib and al-Jawf provinces in northern Yemen areas known for having an Al Qaeda presence, where there is very little central government control. The official did not say how he was killed.
Awlaki has a long history of terrorism against the US. At first considered a moderate cleric the Bush administration invited him to the Pentagon as part of their outreach program after 9/11 he became a suspect in the 9/11 attacks after at least three of the hijackers were traced to his mosque. Awlaki fled the US and eventually masterminded the Christmas Day underwear plot in 2009 as well as a later plot to destroy cargo airplanes bound for the US, and at least inspired the Fort Hood massacre and other so-called lone wolf attacks.
These kind of early reports from places like Yemen have often proven wrong, although having confirmation from Washington makes it a little more reliable. That also strongly hints that US forces were involved in the killing, which may mean hints will be all well get. As an American citizen, his status created controversy for the Obama administration when it became clear that they had tasked the military and intelligence communities with killing rather than apprehending him. Awlaki put himself in that position by conducting a war against the US, though, and in war a belligerent has no particular duty to apprehend anyone who doesnt surrender to their forces, regardless of their nationality. For political reasons, dont expect the same kind of celebration at the White House over Awlakis termination as was seen after Osama bin Ladens death.
Assuming that Awlaki is really dead, though, this could be a bigger operational deal than getting bin Laden. Awlakis group, AQAP, was by far the most active internationally among AQ affiliates, and his intimate knowledge of the US made him a dangerous foe. His death wont be the end of AQs attempts to create home-grown jihadis and infiltrators, but it will make that task a lot more difficult.
Update: Lets not forget, however, that weve prematurely celebrated the end of this jihadi at least once before.
Update II: Rusty at MPJ notes that another American jihadi/traitor breathed his last in this attack, although at first he was rumored to have survived:
Sources in Yemen clarify why the rumor that he survived started: there were two missiles, he survived the first one . but that second one? That one was the kill shot.
Samir Khan fled the US to Yemen and began producing the al-Qaeda recruitment magazine Inspire. That makes two less Americans for AQ to consult on recruiting home-grown jihadis. Be sure to read more at Khan at MPJ.
Update III: ABC News now reports on Khans demise:
A young American who edited al Qaedas English-language magazine, and had urged Muslims to mount deadly attacks on U.S. targets, was killed in the same CIA drone strike that eliminated Anwar Awlaki in Yemen Friday, U.S. officials said.
Khan, 25, was the Saudi-born, New York-raised editor behind Inspire magazine, the English language online publication of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP. Khan had become a rising figure in jihadist propaganda and an aspiring Awlaki, according to U.S. intelligence officials.
But while Awlaki relied on sermons to recruit jihadis, Khan used sarcasm and idiomatic English in an attempt to appeal to Western youth. As Khan himself has said, It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out that I [am] Al Qaeda to the core. He titled a rebuke of toppled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak A Cold Diss. Khans ability to use American vernacular, like a graphic depicting graffiti that reads, Jihad 4 Eva, had prompted concerns that young Muslims with an interest in jihad and al Qaeda would be drawn to a voice similar to their own.
He does appear to be increasingly involved with operational activities [of Al Qaeda], a U.S. official told ABC News in 2010.
eff their rotting skulls
LOL. I like you. I really, really do. LOL.
When two non-citizens push out a baby on American soil
‘it’ becomes a citizen a.k.a anchor baby.
Anwar was no more an American citizen than maggot.
Ron Paul says this is assassination and therefor bad.
His trusty sidekick kicked the bucket, too? I have to wonder what was on his bucket list?
Obama, Code Pink, and the Treason Wing of politics deeply saddened.
This bag of burned dog food may have been a "U.S. citizen" BUT HE WAS NOT AN AMERICAN! There is a huge difference.
It’s good that both are now worm food.
And Ron Paul
part of Obana’s reelection campaign!
We've been fighting Islamic terrorists for how long and the newsies still have no clue about how Arabic names work?
Unless this is an extremely rare case, al-Awlaki is not surname, it is a "nisbah" -- a reference to membership in a city, tribe, organization, or sometimes profession. Case in point: Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti -- al-Tikriti wasn't a family name, it simply said that he (and roughly 90% of his inner circle) came from the city of Tikrit.
In some Arabic-speaking cultures, there is no such thing as a surname -- you have your personal (given) name, and typically one or more additional names specifying your paternal lineage. Example: Osama bin Laden would be in these cases Osama, son of Laden, with "bin" sometimes optional based on region/dialect. However, note in some Arabic cultures that have "modernized" to use a stable family surname, that a paternal name like bin Laden may be "fossilized" as the family surname.
I thought he fit into the last section under “Treason Wing”, but that works for me.
time for him to retire to his homeland, rest, smell the flowers and finalize his estate...then smile and rest some more.
Honestly I can’t get excited about it because they’re like shark teeth.
At some point we’re going to have to figure out how to kill the shark.
***Update: Lets not forget, however, that weve prematurely celebrated the end of this jihadi at least once before.***
I can think of a few others.
Che was declared dead by the CIA back in the late 1960s then showed up alive in Bolivia.
General Giap of North Vietnam was declared dead but later was found very much alive.
Where's the DEATH CERTIFICATE?..............