Yemen searching for radical US-born cleric
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Last Updated: Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 22:59
Sana: Yemeni forces are actively searching for a US-born Muslim cleric who has reportedly been added to the CIA's list of targets to be killed and captured, the foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Last week, Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi said at a press conference that Anwar al-Awlaki was "always seen as a preacher rather than a terrorist" and that the radical cleric was not being targeted.

But al-Qirbi clarified to The Associated Press today that his government viewed al-Awlaki as a mere religious figure before the Sept 11 terror attacks but now considered him a wanted terrorist.

Al-Awlaki, a US citizen born in New Mexico to Yemeni parents, came to the attention of US officials after being linked to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day, as well as Maj Nidal Malik Hasan, the US Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people in November at Fort Hood, Texas.

He has used his personal Web site to encourage Muslims around the world to kill US troops in Iraq.

Yemen has appeared to target al-Awlaki in the recent past.

On Dec 24, Yemeni warplanes, using US intelligence help, struck a meeting of senior al-Qaida figures that al-Awlaki was believed to be attending, killing 30 militants, according to the government.


First Published: Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 22:59

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