Sana’a: The father of Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni radical cleric who is thought to be the new Osama bin Laden, has expressed concern for his son’s life after he escaped US drone attacks on a village close to his hometown in Shabwa on Thursday.
"There are three drones which hover above my village 24 hours a day… it`s the Americans, I`m sure of it. They`ve killed bin Laden and now they`re after my son," The Guardian quoted Nasser Awlaki, as saying.
Bin Laden’s death has led some officials to believe that Anwar, the US-born civil engineer turned radical Muslim cleric who is now the spiritual guru of al Qaeda`s most active franchise, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, would be turn out to be the greatest threat to the US.
US President Barack Obama had ordered the killing of al-Awlaki last spring after it was revealed that he was linked to a US Army psychiatrist who killed 13 people in Fort Hood, Texas, in November 2009, and also to a Nigerian student accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound passenger jet on Christmas Day that year.
The father of al-Awlaki, who is believed to be hiding with tribal leaders in the rugged southern region of Shabwa, however turned down speculations that his son would be the next leader of al Qaeda.
"They [the western media] have claimed he`s going to be the next leader of al Qaeda, but it`s nonsense. Anwar is not a leader, he`s just a man with strong views and a big mouth," Nasser Awlaki, who has served in Yemen`s ruling party as agriculture minister, said.