According to U.S. and Yemeni officials, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan have been killed in an airstrike. Awlaki was the spiritual leader of the English-speaking jihadi community and Samir Khan was its chief propagandist. Both men joined al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula over the past few years and have been responsible for producing al-Qaeda’s English-language magazine, Inspire. Awlaki also had an operational role directing AQAP’s external attacks and the current head of AQAP reportedly asked Bin Laden to make Awlaki the group’s leader. This is yet another major blow against al-Qaeda and seriously damages its ability to recruit and attack in the West.
- The open source case for Awlaki’s role as head of foreign ops and the case against.
- The impact of Awlaki’s death. Big Deal (here, here, here, here, here, and here). No big deal (here, here, here, and here). Counterproductive (here). Mix of all three (here).
- The legal case for killing Awlaki (here, here, here, and here). Case against (here, here, and here).