The many sides of Anwar Al-Awlaki

The administration claims that U.S. born Anwar Al-Awlaki was killed for being involved in Al Qaeda operational activities in Yemen. Yet, when asked for proof by ABC News White House Correspondent Jack Tapper, the neophyte press secretary, Jay Carney, fumbled for an answer, saying he couldn’t say any more about it. Nor could he explain why President Obama provided the CIA with a “kill or capture” list including Awlaki’s name.

As Ron Paul asserted, even Timothy McVeigh had his day in court before execution as the purported lone bomber of the Murrah building in Oklahoma City in 1995.

Al-Awlaki was the fiery preacher born in New Mexico of Yemeni parents. He severely criticized the United States for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and for killing Muslims in large numbers.

Yet, Al-Awlaki’s name comes up as a “hero” in emails from Colonel Hasan, the psychiatrist from Fort Hood who purportedly was encouraged by Al-Awlaki to kill 13 soldiers “who would be killing Muslims”; he is the “teacher” for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the accused Christmas “underwear bomber”; and he is the “inspiration” for Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square “car-bomber,” now in jail for life, to mention a few. In fact, he is generally considered a CIA asset, given his ability to attract English-speaking patsies, whose schemes often fizzled like the underwear bomber’s crotch-bomb and Shahzad’s car-bomb.

In retaliation it seems “the Central Intelligence Agency has now built a secret air base in the Middle East to serve as a launching pad for strikes in Yemen using armed drones, the New York Times reported.

The Times added in a follow-up story, Two-Year Manhunt Led to Killing of Awlaki in Yemen, “The search for . . . the American-born cleric whose fiery sermons made him a larger-than-life figure in the shadowy world of jihad, finally ended on Friday. After several days of surveillance of Mr. Awlaki, armed drones operated by the Central Intelligence Agency took off from a new, secret American base in the Arabian Peninsula, crossed into northern Yemen and unleashed a barrage of Hellfire missiles at a car carrying him and other top operatives from Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, including another American militant who had run the group’s English-language Internet magazine.”

One wonders why if the CIA had such a bead on him they didn’t capture him for questioning, arrest if necessary, and a trial, in keeping with U.S. law? Well, the sad answer is the president gave them the “Kill order” upfront, so we’ll never know what additional information Awlaki could have provided on current players. Or was the option really that dead men tell no tales, especially about previous services.

We know that the new CIA base is in the Arabian Peninsula and the drones crossed into Yemen to take out Awlaki. How ironic and neat, that the CIA should use him and abuse him. Or will he surface again, as when Fox wrote on December 24, 2009, 2009: Fox News Reports Anwar Awlaki Killed. The subhead read, “Imam Linked to Ft. Hood Rampage Believed to Be Among 30 Al Qaeda Killed in Airstrike . . .

The text read, “The radical Muslim imam linked to the rampage at Fort Hood reportedly is believed to have been killed in a Yemen airstrike that may have also taken out the region’s top Al Qaeda leader and 30 other militants.

“The raid in Yemen’s east targeted an Al Qaeda leadership meeting held to organize terror attacks. U.S. officials believe radical cleric Anwar Awlaki was ‘probably’ one of dozens of militants killed in the strike, a source confirmed to FOX News.

“’Awlaki is suspected to be dead [in the air raid],’ Reuters quoted an unnamed Yemeni official as saying.”

So it’s all maybe he is and maybe he’s not dead, leaving open the possibility for multiple resurrections like the phoenix from the ashes of hellfire missiles.

This would make Awlaki almost as iconic as the one and only Osama bin Laden, originally listed as dead and buried in Pakistan in an unmarked grave as of December 2001 by 9/11 scholar David Ray Griffin in his book, Osama bin Laden—Dead or Alive. Griffin’s scholarship is impeccable, though it was reversed recently by President Obama in the Navy SEALS’ assassination of Osama on May 2 2011.

Also, the Islamic tradition of burial, originally described by Griffin as being wrapped in a white sheet and buried in the earth in an unmarked grave facing Mecca was changed to “burial at sea.” Neither party had corroborating photos for us, though Griffin has a better reputation for truth.

So, here we are again wrapped in the magic of Central Intelligence. And now, with a new precedent, not only of assassination of a political figure, but of an American citizen as of April 10, 2010, clearly against United States law. For a constitutional lawyer, the president leaves us wondering. See Michael Ratner’s article Anwar al-Awlaki’s Extrajudicial Murder.

To quote Ratner, “This was the very result we at the Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU feared when we brought a case in US federal court on behalf of Anwar al-Awlaki’s father, hoping to prevent this targeted killing. We lost the case on procedural grounds, but the judge considered the implications of the practice as raising “serious questions,” asking, “Can the executive order the assassination of a US citizen without first affording him any form of judicial process whatsoever, based on the mere assertion that he is a dangerous member of a terrorist organisation?”

“Yes, Anwar al-Awlaki was a radical Muslim cleric. Yes, his language and speeches were incendiary. He may even have engaged in plots against the United States—but we do not know that because he was never indicted for a crime.

“This profile should not have made him a target for a killing without due process and without any effort to capture, arrest and try him. The US government knew his location for purposes of a drone strike, so why was no effort made to arrest him in Yemen, a country that apparently was allied in the US efforts to track him down?”

It seems more than ABC’s Jack Tapper and Ron Paul are upset about this.

But then there was Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, whose government had been fighting rebels in the North, secessionists in the South, and had been gratefully propped up with $70 million by the U.S. Perhaps this was the final piece to assure Al Qaeda’s withdrawal and an end to Awlaki’s ferocious rhetoric. Listen to former Intelligence Official Glenn Carle and Chris Boucec from the Carnegie Institute’s Mid-Eastern Studies Group comments . . .

They reveal that there are a lot of strings attached for Yemen and its president to the deal for the US’s $70 million. There is pressure from the Saudis to the North, resistance from secessionists to the south, spots within Yemen under control of Al Qaeda. And the tiny country is running out of oil, water, money, and still under air strikes from NATO, and needs to manage it all, including its Big Brother.

Yet Awlaki was here as a “charismatic individual” with his eloquent English who could inspire jihad in this tiny hell. Sounds like a handful of pain for all, including the US and its dedication to rule the world under the lawless mission of fighting terror.

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer, life-long resident of New York City. An EBook version of his book of poems “State Of Shock,” on 9/11 and its after effects is now available at and He has also written hundreds of articles on politics and government as Associate Editor of Intrepid Report (formerly Online Journal). Reach him at

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.