One Of The Questions Raised By Terrorism

The successful assassination of Adolph Hitler would have been seen as a blessing. It would have saved many lives–German, British, European and American. Adolph Hitler was leading Germany into war with all of its neighbors and had plans for an even larger war. He needed to be stopped.

Life is a little less black and white when you are dealing with terrorist leaders. The average terrorist leader is not the head of a country, although there are a few exceptions. The average terrorist leader has followers, but there are not necessarily all located in one place. The average terrorist leader may not even be acknowledged as a terrorist–he may be perceived as a moderate Islamic leader. It really is difficult in a war on terror to tell the bad guys from the bystanders. That is part of what makes President Obama’s drone program such a major concern.

NBC News has posted an article about three drone killings that occurred in September 2011. All those killed were American citizens. Americans would be up in arms if Americans were killed overseas by other countries without proper jurisprudence, so why are we doing it ourselves?

The article reports:

Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan were killed by a missile strike in Yemen on Sept. 30, 2011, while al-Awlaki’s son, Abdulrahman, was killed in the country just weeks later.

Anwar al-Awlaki posted anti-American sermons on the internet and encouraged terrorism by his followers. Major Nidal Hasan, who killed soldiers at Fort Hood while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” is said to be a follower of Anwar al-Awlaki. 

The article reports on al-Awlaki and Khan:

Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, he ( Anwar al-Awlaki) became a popular spokesman for moderate Islam, and was often used to juxtapose perceptions that Islam is a religion that spreads hate.  But less than a decade later, he was hiding in Yemen as a name on the CIA’s kill list.

“I eventually came to the conclusion that jihad against America is binding upon myself just as it is binding on every other Muslim,” he said in an audio message in March 2010.    

Conversely, Khan was never interested in the peaceful side of Islam. The New York Times reports that as a teen, Khan’s attraction grew exponentially to militant sites on the Internet after 9/11. Parental concerns and intervention from community leaders proved unsuccessful. Khan was 25 when he died in Yemen.

My point is this. These men were killed without a trial for words they posted on the internet. They were not leaders of countries. Would it not have been better to take them alive and put them in Guantanamo to end their internet postings?

I believe in fighting terrorists; I just have a problem killing Americans because of what they say rather than what they do.Enhanced by Zemanta

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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