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Extrajudicial Executions
Obama Kills US Citizens In Yemen

Government officials say US-born religious leader with links to al-Qaeda was targeted in Jawf province air strike.

By Al Jazeera

September 30, 2011 "
Al Jazeera" -- Yemen's defence ministry has reported that Anwar al-Awlaki, a well-known and controversial imam with ties to al-Qaeda, was killed along with four others.

A government statement released to the media on Friday said the dual US-Yemeni citizen was hunted down by Yemeni forces, but did not elaborate on the circumstances of his death. Awlaki was wanted by both the US and Yemen.

"The terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki has been killed along with some of his companions," said the statement sent by text message to journalists.

Tribal sources told the AFP news agency that Awlaki, the US-born 40-year-old father of five, was killed early on Friday in an air strike that hit two vehicles traveling through an al-Qaeda stronghold in central Yemen.

Government officials say he was targeted 8km from the town of Khashef in the province of al-Jawf, just 140km from Sanaa, the capital.

"I can confirm he's dead," a senior White House official told the Reuters news agency.

Past narrow escapes

The news came amid unrest in the Arab world's poorest nation, where protesters have staged protests since February demanding the resignation of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president who came to power in 1978.

The airplane that carried out the strike was likely to be American, according to tribal sources, who added that US aircraft had been patrolling the skies over Marib for the past several days.

Tribal sources also said Awlaki had relocated from the Shabwa region around three weeks ago.


A US drone aircraft targeted but missed Alwaki in May, and the Yemeni defence ministry had previously announced Awlaki's death late last year.

On December 24, the Yemeni government said he had been killed in an air strike only to admit later that he was still alive.

"He has been a target of US drones at least three times," Hakim al-Masmari, editor-in-chief of the Yemeni Post, told Al Jazeera.

"The Yemeni government will face a lot of criticism, especially in the south, for allowing US drones to attack Yemeni civilians. But it will not be a blow to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula from any perspective. We don't feel they will suffer, because [Awlaki] did not have any real role in [AQAP]."

US officials said Awlaki spread al-Qaeda's message via a blog, social media posts and email exchanges.

"Mr Awlaki is a problem," John Brennan, US President Barack Obama's counter-terrorism adviser, said in January 2010. "He's clearly a part of Al-Qaeda in [the] Arabian Peninsula. He's not just a cleric."

Awlaki inspiration

Brennan directly accused Awlaki of having links with Major Nidal Hasan, who is suspected of shooting dead 13 people at Fort Hood military base in Texas in November 2009, and who is set to face trial in a military court on March 5, 2012.

The Pakistani-American who pleaded guilty to the May 2010 Times Square failed car bombing attempt told interrogators he was "inspired'' by Awlaki after making contact over the internet.

Awlaki may also have had contact with Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound Christmas Day plane in 2009, Brennan said.

Obama has accused AQAP of arming and training Abdulmutallab and said the group was also responsible for the October 2010 parcel bomb plot that originated in Yemen.

Two parcels addressed to Jewish institutions in Chicago - containing the explosive PETN hidden in ink toner cartridges - were found to have been freighted from Sanaa on commercial airlines.

In July 2010, Washington placed Awlaki on its list of terrorism supporters, freezing his financial assets and banning any transactions with him.

In a video posted on websites last May by AQAP, Awlaki urged Muslims serving in the US army to follow Hasan's example, and also defended Abdulmutallab.

Ameen al Himyari, a Yemen analyst and professor at Qatar university, told Al Jazeera "terrorism is a phenomenon that needs to be studied" and that killing ring leaders would not solve the problem.

"We need to know what the reasons [for terrorism] are. Now we've killed the most wanted person in the world, [but] tomorrow we're going to have the most wanted person in the world. So what's the end? We need to find a solution," he said.

He also said Awlaki's death could make it hard for Saleh to cling to power.

"The regime is going to lose one of its scarecrows," he said. "Now if al-Qaeda is weakened in Yemen, what's he [Saleh] going to say for the West? Support me for what?"

The US and Saudi Arabia, Yemeni's neighbour to the north, have backed Saleh's government to fight al-Qaeda's cells in the country's south. But they have also been urging him to step down under a deal brokered by the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), which offers him as well as his family immunity from prosecution.

Saheh has backed out of the deal on three occasions and has said he will not step down if his former allies-turned-rivals are allowed to run in future elections.

2 US Citizens Killed in Yemen
Associated Press, 09.30.11, 10:45 AM EDT

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. official says a second American citizen is dead in the same airstrike that killed radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

U.S. and Yemeni officials say Samir Khan and al-Awlaki were killed early Friday in a strike on a convoy in Yemen. The strike was carried out by the CIA and U.S. Joint Special Operations Command. Khan edited the slick Western-style Internet publication "Inspire Magazine" that attracted many readers. The U.S. official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

The online magazine published seven issues offering articles on making crude bombs and how to fire AK-47 assault rifles. U.S. intelligence officials have said that Khan - who was from North Carolina - was not directly responsible for targeting Americans.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

Yemeni U.S.-wanted al-Qaida cleric Awlaki is alive: brother

By English.news.cn

SANAA, Sep. 30 (
Xinhua) --The most-wanted U.S.-born Yemeni al- Qaida cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, is alive and was not in the targeted convoy hit by a unmanned U.S. drone Friday, one of his brothers told Xinhua by phone.

In a brief text message to journalist earlier in the day, the Yemeni defense ministry said that Anwar and a number of his followers were killed by Yemeni forces in Shabwa province in southeastern Yemen.

Al-Awlaki, said to be leader of Yemen-based al-Qaida branch, was also pronounced killed by Yemeni troops late last year, but the Yemeni government later admitted he was still alive.

 

 

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