Two American citizens assassinated in Yemen with American drones –Or were they?
AP reports: Anwar al-Awlaki, a well-known and controversial American imam with ties to al-Qaeda, was killed along with four others, another also an American citizen.
Samir Khan – who was from North Carolina – and al-Awlaki were killed early Friday in a strike on a convoy in Yemen. The strike was carried out by the CIA and U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).
Khan edited the slick Western-style Internet publication “Inspire Magazine” that attracted many readers. The online magazine published seven issues offering articles on making crude bombs and how to fire AK-47 assault rifles. U.S. intelligence officials have said that Khan was not directly responsible for targeting Americans.
Al Jazeera adds: Tribal sources told the AFP news agency that Awlaki, the US-born 40-year-old father of five, was killed early on Friday in an air strike that hit two vehicles traveling through an al-Qaeda stronghold in central Yemen.
“I can confirm he’s dead,” a senior White House official told the Reuters news agency.
A US drone aircraft targeted but missed Alwaki in May, and the Yemeni defense ministry had previously announced Awlaki’s death. On December 24, the Yemeni government said he had been killed in an air strike only to admit later that he was still alive.
Finally Xinhua News reports: The most-wanted U.S.-born Yemeni al- Qaida cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, is alive and was not in the targeted convoy hit by a unmanned U.S. drone Friday, one of his brothers told Xinhua by phone.