Anwar al-Aulaqi, the radical Yemeni-American cleric and one of the most influential al-Qaeda operatives wanted by the United States, has been killed in northern Yemen, Yemen’s Defense Ministry said Friday morning.For some odd reason they're now spelling his name as Aulaqi. Whatever. He's got bigger things to worry about now.
The ministry, in a text message sent to journalists, said “the terrorist Anwar al-Aulaqi has been killed along with some of his companions,” but did not provide further details. The report could not be independently verified; Aulaqi has been falsely reported killed before.
In a separate e-mailed statement, the Yemeni government said that Aulaqi was “targeted and killed” five miles from the town of Kashef in Yemen’s northern Jawf province, 87 miles east of the capital Sanaa. The attack, the statement said, was launched at 9.55 am, local time.
While the Defense Ministry said Aulaqi was killed in Marib province, other government sources said he was killed in neighboring Jawf province.
A Yemeni security source, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said Aulaqi was killed in an air strike, possibly by an unmanned American drone. The Obama administration in recent months have escalated the use of drones to target al-Qaeda-linked militants in Yemen and Somalia. U.S. officials could not be reached for comment.
If true, Aulaqi’s death would be considered a significant victory in the U.S. war against global terrorism. Believed to be 39 or 40 years old, the New Mexico-born cleric has been implicated in several attacks on U.S. soil, including the 2009 shootings at Fort Hood, Texas; an attempt later that year to bomb a Detroit-bound airliner; and an attempt in 2010 to send parcel bombs on cargo plans bound for the United States.
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