Yemen-based al-Qaida wing confirms death of Awlaki

Terrorist group announces "martyrdom" of US-born cleric on website ten days after US had said he was killed in CIA drone strike.

Anwar al Awlaki_311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Anwar al Awlaki_311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
DUBAI - Al-Qaida's Yemen-based wing confirmed on Monday the death of US-born militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who US officials said was killed 10 days ago in a CIA drone strike.
Awlaki, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula's (AQAP) most high-profile member, was considered an influential international recruiter to al-Qaida and responsible for recruiting militants and planning attacks against the United States.
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"We confirm to the jihadi Ummah (nation) that is uprising against oppression, the martyrdom of the mujahid heroic sheikh Abu Abdul Rahman Anwar bin Nasser al-Awlaki," AQAP said on a website, according to the SITE online monitoring service.
Awlaki, identified by US intelligence as "chief of external operations" for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, was killed in a CIA drone attack in a remote Yemeni town, US officials announced late last month.
The US announcement confirmed an earlier statement by Yemen's Defense Ministry that he had been killed
A Yemeni security official said Awlaki, who is of Yemeni descent, was hit in a morning air raid in the northern al-Jawf province that borders oil giant Saudi Arabia. He said four others killed with him were suspected al-Qaida members.
Awlaki had been implicated in a botched attempt by AQAP to bomb a US-bound plane in 2009 and had contacts with a US Army psychiatrist who killed 13 people at a US military base the same year.
US authorities had branded him a "global terrorist" and last year authorized his capture or killing, but Sanaa had previously appeared reluctant to act against him.