The U.S. government has targeted American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki to be killed or captured, a U.S. official told CNN Wednesday.
“We would be remiss if we didn’t find ways to pursue someone who is a serious threat to this country and has plotted against Americans,” the official said.
Al-Awlaki, who is believed to be hiding in Yemen, called last month for jihad against America. He said in an audio message that “America is evil.”
His sermons and recordings have been found on the computers of at least a dozen terror suspects in the United States and Britain. In addition, al-Awlaki admits to having communication with U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hassan, who has been charged in the shooting deaths of 13 people at Ford Hood, Texas, in November.
Sounds like something out of an Old West movie, with the miscreant’s photo attached to a flier inviting any and all citizens to bring him (or her) to justice. This raises several legal issues, since Anwar al-Awlaki is an American Citizen, born in New Mexico. However, as Anwar al-Awlaki apparently moved from advocating attacks against the US to actually participating in the planning of attacks – the legal questions may be moot.