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Anwar Aulaqi

9-11 plotters Spiritual Adviser

Anwar Aulaqi
Affiliation9-11 plotters
RoleSpiritual Adviser
Alternate Spelling(s)Anwar Awlaki, Anwar al-Awlaki
Place of BirthNew Mexico, United States1
Narrative and Notes
  • Officials in the United States and Yemen say radical U.S. born cleric Anwar al Awlaki killed on 29-30 September 2011 in Yemen.

    In late 2010 the ACLU filed a formal lawsuit seeking to halt what it said was an "illegal" U.S. government assassination order against this wanted terrorist, claiming "there is not an imminent threat and lethal force is not necessary." But in refuting this suit, lawyers David Rivkin Jr. and Lee Casey noted that the laws of war permit attacks "at anytime and anywhere they can be found." That’s only limited by the "rules of distinction and proportionality (which protect civilians and their property) and respect [for] the rights of neutral countries." They further point out that citizenship is irrelevant. Sixty years ago in the "Nazi Saboteur" case, the court noted that "citizenship in the United States of an enemy belligerent does not relieve him from the consequences of belligerency." CIA Director Panetta expressed this logic: "Awlaki is a terrorist and yes, he’s a U.S. citizen, but he is first and foremost a terrorist and we’re going to treat him like a terrorist."
  • Acted as advisor to U.S. Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Malik Hassan, who was accused of carrying out mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas military base that left 13 dead on 5 November 2009.
  • Imam at Rabat Mosque in San Diego in 2000; imam at Dar al-Hijrah Mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, in mid-2001.
  • Served as spiritual adviser to Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar in San Diego, and Hazmi again in Virginia.
  • In interviews, recognized Hazmi's picture but said he didn't recall his name. He acknowledged meeting Hazmi several times, describing him as a soft-spoken, private Saudi student.
  • Grew up in Yemen and studied in the United States on a Yemeni government scholarship.1
  • Inciting violence against foreigners leading to the killing of French oil industry worker in Yemen in 2010.
  • Believed to have helped Nigerian suspect arrested for attempted Christmas Day bombing of US airliner in 2009.
  • The 9-11 commissioners said they did not have enough information to reach any conclusions about Aulaqi's relationship with the two hijackers and presumably whether he had any foreknowledge of the attacks.1
    1 The 9-11 Commission Final Report, July 22, 2004, Chapter 7.1.
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    Page last modified: 30-09-2011 12:46:19 ZULU