Friday, September 30, 2011
Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born al-Qaeda leader, was killed in a drone strike in central Yemen, the country’s military has announced.
Fluent in English and driven by a hatred of his homeland, Awlaki has been a pivotal figure in the group. A skilled propagandist, he was the spokesman for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Penninsula (AQAP) and had inspired daring attacks by the group worldwide.
Yemeni security forces said they had conducted an operation to target Awlaki and his bodyguards in Marib province. Western sources said a US drone strike had hit his convoy in a remote area and that local military commanders had confirmed his death.
President Barack Obama authorised the US military to target Awlaki last year, a controversial and legally fraught move in light of his US citizenship. Awlaki had inspired serval audacious attacks in recent years including the 2009 Christmas underwear bomber, an attack in Fort Hood military base by a US army major and the stabbing of Stephen Timms MP.