Muslim cleric Aulaqi is 1st
By Greg Miller
Wednesday, April 7, 2010; A08
A Muslim cleric tied to the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner has become the first
Anwar al-Aulaqi, who resides in Yemen, was previously placed on a target list maintained by the U.S. military's Joint Special Operations Command and has survived at least one strike carried out by Yemeni forces with U.S. assistance against a gathering of suspected al-Qaeda operatives.
Because he is a
"He's in everybody's sights," said the
CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said: "This agency conducts its counterterrorism operations in strict accord with the law."
The decision to add Aulaqi to the CIA target list reflects the view among agency analysts that a man previously regarded mainly as a militant preacher has taken on an expanded role in al-Qaeda's Yemen-based offshoot.
"He's recently become an operational figure for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula," said a second
Aulaqi corresponded by e-mail with Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 12 soldiers and one civilian at Fort Hood, Tex., last year. Aulaqi is not believed to have helped plan the attack, although he praised Hasan in an online posting for carrying it out.
Concern grew about the cleric's role after he was linked to the Nigerian accused of attempting to bomb a
The CIA is known to have carried out at least one Predator strike in
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