Anwar al-Awlaki sitting on couch, lightened

Anwar al-Awlaki (April 22, 1971-September 30, 2011) was a Yemeni American Al-Qaeda terrorist and imam. U.S. government officials said that he was a senior talent recruiter and motivator who was involved in planning terrorist operations for the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda. With a blog, a Facebook page, the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire, and many YouTube videos, the Saudi news station Al Arabiya described him as the "bin Laden of the Internet."[17][18] After a request from the U.S. Congress, in November 2010 YouTube removed many of Awlaki's videos.[19] U.S. officials say that as imam at a mosque in Falls Church, Virginia (2001–02), which had 3,000 members, al-Awlaki spoke with and preached to three of the 9/11 hijackers, who were al-Qaeda members.[20] In 2001, he presided at the funeral of the father of Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who later e-mailed him extensively in 2008–09 before the Fort Hood shootings.[21][22] During Al-Awlaki's later radical period after 2006–07, when he went into hiding, he was associated with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian who attempted the 2009 Christmas Day bombing of an American airliner.[23][24][25] Al-Awlaki was allegedly involved in planning the latter's attack. The Yemeni government began trying him in absentia in November 2010, for plotting to kill foreigners and being a member of al-Qaeda. A Yemeni judge ordered that he be captured "dead or alive."[26][27] U.S. officials said that in 2009, al-Awlaki was promoted to the rank of "regional commander" within al-Qaeda.[28][29] He repeatedly called for jihad against the United States.[30][31] In April 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama placed al-Awlaki on a list of people whom the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency was authorized to kill because of terrorist activities.[32][33][34] The "targeted killing" of an American citizen was unprecedented. Al-Awlaki's father and civil rights groups challenged the order in court.[32][34][35][36] Al-Awlaki was believed to be in hiding in Southeast Yemen in the last years of his life.[26] The U.S. deployed unmanned aircraft (drones) in Yemen to search for and kill him,[37] firing at and failing to kill him at least once,[38] before succeeding in a fatal American drone attack in Yemen on September 30, 2011.[39] Two weeks later, al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen who was born in Denver, was killed by a CIA-led drone strike in Yemen.[40][41][42] Nasser al-Aulaqi, Anwar's father, released an audio recording condemning the killings of his son and grandson as senseless murders

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