Chalk up another big win for the Obama White House on the anti-terrorism front.
CBS News reports that the military counterterrorism unit that took out al Qaeda kingpin Osama bin Laden in May used a drone and jet strike in Yemen on Friday to kill American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.
Awlaki is suspected to have played a role in the planning of several attacks on the U.S., among them:
- the attempted bombing of a U.S. passenger jet over Detroit on Christmas day of2009,
- the successful murderous rampage at Fort Hood by an Army psychiatrist in November of 2009, and
- the attempted car bombing of New York’s Times Square in May of 2010.
Perhaps more important to al Qaeda was Awlaki’s use of the Internet to reach out to homegrown terrorists in the U.S. coupled with his fiery anti-American rhetoric. Both made him a singular figure in the terrorist organization.CBS News terrorism analyst Juan Zarate is quoted as saying that Awlaki’s “role as a propagandist actually will be very difficult to fill.”
The killing of Awlaki is likely to reignite a misguided debate over whether the U.S. government was authorized to kill the cleric who, after all, was an American citizen and had not been charged with a crime.
In September of 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union, acting on behalf of Awlaki’s father, filed papers with a federal judgeasking that the cleric’s name be removed froma secret government-sponsored “kill list” of Americans targeted for assassination. The White House, coming down on the side of sanity, rejected the lawsuit.
Don’t be suprised if Awkaki’s family now files a wrongful death suit against the U.S. government.
- Osama bin Laden is dead
- Poll: Only 17% of Americans think Muslims are treated unfairly
- True Islamophobia and standing up to death threats from Islamic extremists
- FBI advises “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” cartoonist to go into hiding
- Obama’s “We can absorb a terrorist attack” remark drawing flak
- BREAKING: Times Square bomber was a fan of radical cleric
- Administration rejects lawsuit filed on behalf of radical American cleric
- Obama’s assassination list: The troubling reality
- ACLU sues to get American-born terrorist’s name removed from U.S. “kill list”
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