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SANAA, Yemen — I don’t remember the U.S. complaining when the Yemeni government claimed it had killed Anwar al-Awlaki in Dec. 24 air strikes. When the news was later reported that Barack Obama ordered the strike, there was no official denial. And when Awlaki re-appeared in the news alive (as officially "dead" Al Qaeda leaders tend to do in Yemen) nobody seemed to thrilled about it.
Now it is official. Awlaki is alive, and the CIA wants him dead.
They can kill him anytime, in any way. And because he is an American citizen, approval came from the White House.
Some news sources are reporting that it is the first time that the CIA has put a hit on an American citizen abroad. Others question the legality killing an American citizen far from any battlefields. Perhaps this is the first time in Google’s memory that the CIA has announced such a plan to the world, so we are not quite sure how it works.
Awlaki, an American-born Yemeni jihadist preacher has been in hiding in remote corner of Shebwa, far from the reach of Yemen’s central government, since the November 2009 Fort Hood shooting. Nidal Hasan, who is accused of killing 13 people in the massacre, was coached by al-Awlaki, and later won high praise from the cleric.
Awlaki has also been connected to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Christmas bomber. In his latest public appearance in a tape released to CNN, Awlaki called for all Muslims to rise up against the West, and called jihad “binding upon myself just as it is binding upon every other able Muslim."