Awlaki's Death May Mean Little in Yemen

But in the US, he was among top terror targets
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2011 10:35 AM CDT
Awlaki's Death May Mean Little in Yemen
Imam Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen in 2008.   (AP Photo/Muhammad ud-Deen, File)

While the US will see the death of Anwar al-Awlaki as a key victory against al-Qaeda, those in Yemen are more likely to shrug their shoulders at the news—and it’s “debatable” whether the killing will have much impact on al-Qaeda’s operations, writes Dan Murphy in the Christian Science Monitor. That's because his big role appeared to be as a propagandist rather than a strategist. Still, a top counterterror official told Congress earlier this year that he considered "al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, with Awlaki as a leader within that organization, probably the most significant risk to the US homeland."

The New Mexico-born son of Yemeni parents grew up in Yemen and studied at universities around the US, notes the AP. Following his studies, he preached in San Diego and Virginia before returning to Yemen. With ties to 9/11 hijackers, the "underwear bomber," and the Fort Hood shooting, Awlaki was among the top names on the US terror hit list, CBS News notes. But with Yemen in the throes of a movement to ouster President Ali Abdullah Saleh, “Awlaki's death is largely irrelevant" in the country, writes Murphy. Click through for a timeline of Awlaki’s life, or head to CNN for more on his US ties. (More Anwar al-Awlaki stories.)

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