On Friday Sept. 30, the US Central Intelligence Agency killed Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Western Yemen.
The CIA as well as other federal agencies had been monitoring al-Awlaki for the past two weeks. President Barack Obama hailed his death as a major blow to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
"His hateful ideology and targeting of innocent civilians has been rejected by the vast majority of Muslims and people of all faiths and he has met his demise because the government and the people of Yemen have joined the international community in a common effort against al Qaeda," Obama said.
Al-Awlaki had been considered a threat to the West because he had an understanding of the Western mentality and could persuade young Muslims to join AQAP. He ran the online newspaper, Inspire, which planned on releasing an article on justifying terrorist attacks on the West. He was suspected of contacting several terrorists involved with 9-11.
Last year al-Awlaki’s father had sued the US government to get an injunction against government monitoring of his son. He claimed that the US was conspiring to assassinate his son. The case was tossed out by U.S District Court Judge John Bates.
The assassination of al-Awlaki is coming under scrutiny from several watchdog groups and citizens because of the killing of al-Awlaki without due process.
Local teacher Elissa Lombardi shared similar views. “I’m a little concerned because they did not go through the process where they found him guilty of treason in a military tribunal, and if they had done that that and found him guilty I wouldn’t have a problem with that, but they just went ahead and just assassinated him.”
Above image: U.S. Drone over the country of Yemen. (Graphic by Sheng Lor)