Terror mastermind and senior Al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki is dead a senior U.S. official confirms.
Al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born Islamic militant cleric who became a prominent figure in Al-Qaeda's most active branch, using his fluent English and Internet savvy to draw recruits to carry out attacks in the United States, was killed Friday in the mountains of Yemen, American and Yemeni officials said.
The Yemeni government and Defense Ministry announced al-Awlaki's death, but gave no details. A senior U.S. official said American intelligence supports the claim that he had been killed. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.
Yemeni security officials and local tribal leaders said al-Awlaki was killed in an air strike on his convoy that they believed was carried out by the Americans. They said pilotless drones had been seen over the area in previous days.
Al-Awlaki would be the most prominent Al-Qaeda figure to be killed since Usama bin Laden's death in a U.S. raid in Pakistan in May. In July, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the Yemeni-American was a priority target alongside Ayman al-Zawahri, bin Laden's successor as the terror network's leader.
The 40-year-old al-Awlaki had been in the U.S. crosshairs since his killing was approved by President Barack Obama in April 2010 -- making him the first American placed on the CIA "kill or capture" list. At least twice, airstrikes were called in on locations in Yemen where al-Awlaki was suspected of being, but he wasn't harmed.
Al-Awlaki was an Imam at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in nearby Falls Church, VA, where two of the 9/11 hijackers on American Airlines Flight 77, Hani Hanjour and Nawaf al-Hazmi, attended. A man by the name of Nidal Hassan also attended the mosque and came in contact with Awlaki. He later became a major in the US Army and committed a jihad-inspired shooting spree at Ft. Hood, Texas.
The NWA Flight 253 underwear bomber on Christmas Day 2009, also was in contact with Awlaki.
Awlaki had been busted twice in San Diego in the late 1990s for prostitution, according to this timeline.
Thank you to our military and intelligence members for all they did to take out this scumbag. A job well done!
Just curious, how long will it be before Obama is out in front of the cameras "spiking the football" and acting like he, alone, was the one who killed this terrorist?