The Killing Of Anwar al-Awlaki

Fox News reported this morning that two American-born terrorists were killed in a hellfire missile strike in Yemen early Friday morning. The two terrorists were Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan.

The article reports:

Al-Awlaki was a U.S.-born Islamic militant cleric who became a prominent figure with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the network’s most active branch. He was involved in several terror plots in the United States in recent years, using his fluent English and Internet savvy to draw recruits to carry out attacks. President Obama signed an order in early 2010 making him the first American to be placed on the “kill or capture” list. 

…Kahn, in his 20s, was an American of Pakistani heritage from North Carolina. His magazine promoted attacks against U.S. targets, even running articles on how to put together explosives. In one issue, Khan wrote that he had moved to Yemen and joined Al Qaeda’s fighters, pledging to “wage jihad for the rest of our lives.”

CBN News posted an article this morning by Erick Stakelbeck analyzing the impact of the death of Al-Awlaki on Al Qaeda. Mr. Stakelbeck points out that because Al-Awlaki was born in the United States and lived a major part of his life there, he understood the American culture and language and was able to radicalize Americans in a way that Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri could not..

Mr. Stakelbeck points out:

–Unlike another American-born Al Qaeda propagandist, Adam Gadahn (a.k.a. “Azzam the American”), Awlaki, who was an imam at mosques in San Diego and northern Virginia before leaving the U.S. in 2002, had major religious street cred in the radical Islamic world. 

Mr. Stakelbeck concludes:

One concern: as we continue to strike blows against Al Qaeda, let’s remember that AQ is just one cog in a much broader global jihad. To hear the Obama administration tell it, if we defeat Al Qaeda, we can basically just pack up our bags and go home because the War on Terror is over. Not by a longshot. Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, Hizb ut-Tahrir, homegrown jihadis and of course, the Muslim Brotherhood, just to name a few, are not only alive and kicking but in many cases (Iran, Hezbollah,the Brotherhood, etc.) growing in strength thanks to this administration’s disastrous foreign policy decisions. 

The killing of al-Awlaki and Samir Khan is good news. However, we need to understand that we should remain vigilant–unfortunately Al Qaeda is only one group that has put America in its cross hairs.

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