Top al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki was killed today in Yemen. Awlaki was an American-born cleric that many say inspired several attacks on the U.S. His death is a major blow to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
Awlaki was likely killed in a drone attack. He narrowly escaped an assassination attempt earlier this year, but government officials confirmed he was killed today. The U.S. has been working in conjunction with Yemeni officials to capture or kill Awlaki and disrupt al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Although New Mexico born Awlaki wasn’t AQAP’s top man, the U.S. says he was responsible for inspiring many attacks with his anti-American rhetoric.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Awlaki has long been among the top of the U.S. target list in Yemen, which al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula uses as its base. The American-born cleric has emerged as a leading charismatic recruiter for AQAP, a group the U.S. considers the world’s most dangerous terror organization and the place that represents the gravest threat to the American homeland.
While Awlaki’s death is a blow to the terrorist organization, American officials remain vigilant against revenge attacks as well as new threats that may emerge.