Yemen Says Al-Awlaki, Al-Qaida's English-Speaking Voice, Is Dead
"Yemen's Defense Ministry said Friday that the U.S.-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki has been killed," The Associated Press reports. It adds that "the Yemeni ministry provided no details in the statement, which appeared on one of its websites."
It's being reported he may have been killed by a missile fired from a U.S. aircraft at a convoy of vehicles.
"The 40-year-old al-Awlaki" the AP adds, "is believed to have inspired and even plotted or helped coordinate some of the recent attacks on the U.S., including the failed Christmas Day 2009 bombing of an airliner heading for Detroit, Mich., and the also unsuccessful plot to send mail bombs on planes from Yemen to the United States in October."
The U.S. Army psychiatrist charged in the November 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage that left 13 people dead had contact with al-Awlaki.
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Update at 6:45 a.m. ET. U.S. Official Says Intelligence Indicates Al-Awlaki Is Dead:
"A senior U.S. counterterrorism official says U.S. intelligence indicates that U.S.-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki has been killed in Yemen," the AP now reports. "The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters."
Update at 6:40 a.m. ET. Evidence That He Planned Operations:
In March, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reported for us that the trial of Bangladeshi computer engineer Rajib Karim in Britain provided "the first public evidence that U.S. born radical cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, was planning operations for al-Qaida's arm in Yemen."
Update at 6:30 a.m. ET. Announced In A Text Message:
The defense ministry, according to The Washington Post, sent a text message to reporters that said "the terrorist Anwar al-Aulaqi has been killed along with some of his companions." The Post notes that al-Awlaki "has been falsely reported killed before."