US lawmakers hail Awlaqi slaying

WASHINGTON — Key US lawmakers closed ranks Friday to celebrate the slaying of radical US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi in Yemen, calling it a critical victory over al-Qaeda.

By (AFP)

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Published: Fri 30 Sep 2011, 9:13 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:48 AM

“The killing of Anwar al-Awlaqi in Yemen is another great step forward in breaking the back of Al-Qaeda,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Republican, said in a statement.

“Awlaqi’s deep understanding of American culture made him a very dangerous inspirational leader,” said Rogers, who charged he “continued to inspire others to terror and actively planned and sought ways to kill Americans and attack our homeland.”

Awlaqi “will no longer be able to propagate hatred and manipulate impressionable youth to take up arms against the United States and our allies,” said the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith.

“Following the death of Osama Bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaqi’s death is the latest in a long line of successes by the president and the men and women of our intelligence community. I applaud them,” said Smith.

“For the past several years, al-Awlaqi has been more dangerous even than Osama bin Laden had been,” said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King, a Republican.

“The killing of al-Awlaqi is a tremendous tribute to President Obama and the men and women of our intelligence community,” said King, who warned “we must remain as vigilant as ever” in the fight against Islamist extremists.

“This is yet another significant and striking blow against a damaged but still dangerous terror network,” said Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Susan Collins, said the Fort Hood shooting rampage, the botched Times Square bomb plot, the failed Christmas Day airliner bombing of 2009, and a thwarted attempt to detonate explosives in printer toner cartridges “all bore his fingerprints.”

“As the English-speaking leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the radical cleric al-Awlaqi inspired and encouraged numerous terrorist plots against our country, using his knowledge of America as a means to harm us,” she said.

Tribal sources in Yemen told AFP that Awlaqi, who was on a US wanted list, was killed in an air strike on two vehicles in Marib province, an Al-Qaeda stronghold in eastern Yemen, early in the day.



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