Multiple news outlets are reporting that Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Yemeni leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) (and a U.S. citizen) has been killed in Yemen by U.S. drones and/or jet strikes. Al-Awlaki's death is being confirmed by U.S. officials after a report from Yemen said that he was "targeted and killed 8 KM (about 5 miles) from the town of Khashef in the Province of Jawf, 140KM (about 80 miles) east of the Capital Sana'a."
Al-Awlaki is thought to have been behind the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt in Detroit in 2009 as well as the Fort Hood massacre by Major Nidal Hasan on November 5, 2009.
Al-Awlaki was a relatively effective propagandist for al Qaeda because of his fluency in English. Fortunately, it will not be easy for al Qaeda to replace him. Knowing that a drone will take you out if you take the newly vacant job will also be a deterrent to finding qualified applicants.
The world is a safer and better place with Anwar al-Awlaki, or rather pieces of him, somewhere on the path to hell.
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