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Thursday, December 24, 2009
 

Anwar Awlaki Dead?

The government of Yemen seems to think that an air strike has killed Anwar Awlaki, the American citizen turned radical imam who was a spiritual leader to 9/11 hijackers, as well as Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hassan. The strike also supposedly killed a couple of important Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leaders. There have been plenty of false reports in the last year, so we'll wait a while to see how this pans out. Another ambiguity awaiting clarification -- did the U.S. play a role in the strike? If so, that sends a powerful message about this administration's tolerance for those who support terrorism. We will see.

12/25 UPDATE: Awlaki is reportedly still alive. Some of the stories out of Yemen said that his house (or what was believed to be his house) was specifically targeted in the strike. That question is an interesting one for the reason cited above. It speaks to the Obama administration's tolerance for terrorist supporters, and perhaps also to their definition -- as in, was Nidal Hasan's shooting spree terrorism?

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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.

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