First U.S. Citizen Added to CIA Assassination List

Thursday, April 08, 2010
Anwar al-Aulaqi

Anwar al-Aulaqi, a U.S.-born and educated citizen now residing in Yemen, has become the first American to be placed on a CIA assassination list targeting suspected terrorists. Al-Aulaqi surfaced as a controversial figure after it was learned that the Fort Hood shooter, U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan, had corresponded with him. He also praised Hasan after the attack in an online posting. Furthermore, the Muslim cleric has been connected to the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airplane on Christmas Day.

Being added to the CIA special hit list required approval from the White House because of al-Aulaqi’s citizenship. Previously, he was placed on a target list used by the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command. The U.S. has already tried to kill al-Aulaqi once, during a strike led by Yemeni forces that were aided by American intelligence.
The Obama administration considers him “an operational figure for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” according to anonymous source in The Washington Post. “He’s working actively to kill Americans, so it’s both lawful and sensible to try to stop him.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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