September 30, 2011- Yemen Defense authorities have announced that Anwar al-Awlaki, the cleric who was born in the U.S. was killed in an airstrike. American authorities have said he was a global terrorist. His death was confirmed Friday by a senior official with the Obama Administration.
In an official statement earlier on Friday, the Yemen Defense Ministry had said that the cleric along with some of his top aides had been killed. No other details of the killing have been released.
Al-Awlaki was struck in an early morning raid in the northern part of Yemen in the al-Jawf province. At least four others were killed in the raid near the border with Saudi Arabia. It was still uncertain as to whether he was killed in a U.S. drone attack or by Yemen forces.
The U.S. born Awlaki was implicated in an attempt to bomb a plane that was bound for the United States in 2009. Fluent in both Arabic and English, Awlaki was open about encouraging attacks against the U.S. and was able to entice many recruits for al-Qaida from countries in the west.
One analyst said the killing of Awlaki would help the Yemen president who has been mired in eight months of turmoil because of Arab spring protests demanding he step down from over 30 years of rule.