The US-born radical Islamist cleric and suspected al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki has been killed in Yemen, the country’s defence ministry reported.
US administration officials confirmed the reports, according to US media.
Awlaki, of Yemeni descent, has been on the run in Yemen since December 2007.
The US had named him a “specially designated global terrorist” for his alleged role in a number of attacks and US President Barack Obama is said to have personally ordered his killing.
The defence ministry statement said only that he died “along with some of his companions”.
It gave no further details of his death.
Al-Awlaki’s father, who still lives in the U.S., filed a lawsuit against the federal government, claiming his son’s civil rights were violated by the U.S. call for his killing.
A federal court dismissed Nasser al-Awlaki’s suit on Dec. 7, 2010, on the grounds that he had no legal standing to challenge the targeting of his son.
A statement from Yemen’s foreign press office said the al Qaeda suspect “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-Arabiya television network cited local tribal sources as saying suspected U.S. drone aircraft – which are known to operate in Yemen – fired two missiles Friday at a convoy of vehicles believed to be carrying al-Awlaki and his guards.
The President of the United States ordered the killing of an American citizen without any trial or due process of law.
How do we know he’s guilty? Because THE GOVERNMENT SAYS SO!!!
In recognition of that fact, the Obama administration — once the existence of its hit list became public — began asserting, with no evidence presented and usually anonymously, that Awlaki has an “operational role” in Al Qaeda. But as Yemen expert Gregory Johnsen said today in response to the NYT debate: “We suspect a great deal about Anwar al-Awlaki, but we know very little, precious little when it comes to his operational role”; he added in response to Mendelsohn’s claim that Awlaki “played an important role in a string of attacks in the West”: “We just don’t know this, we suspect it but don’t know it.” Of course, punishing (or killing) Americans based on government accusations that have never been proven in court happens to violate a different though equally critical Constitutional principle (the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee that “no person shall be deprived of life [or] liberty . . . without due process of law).
It will never cease to amaze me how acquiescent the country is to the seizure by this President of the extremist and warped power to target American citizens, far from any battlefield, for killing, all without a shred of due process. It’s not just a profound assault on due process rights but also free speech rights.
Don’t expect much outrage from Left Blogistan on this. In fact I expect to see some of them celebrating this assassination as proof that Obama is a decisive leader.