A U.S.-born cleric from Yemeni who has encouraged Muslims to kill American soldiers is now also calling for the killing of U.S.Â citizens. The call for death to Americans comesÂ in his first video released by a Yemeni offshoot of al-Qaeda. The release of this videoÂ provided the mostÂ concrete link yet between the radical preacher and the al-Qaeda.
Anwar Al-Awlaki used the 45-minute video posted Sunday to justify and encourage civilian deaths. HeÂ is accusingÂ the United States of intentionally killing a million Muslim civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
As Anwar Al-Awlaki, the Yemeni cleric, is speaking in the video, a traditional jambiyah dagger is visible, tucked into his waistband.
Al-Awlaki was born ins New Mexico. He is believed to be hiding outÂ in his parents’ native country of Yemen. He has used his personal website to encourage Muslims around the world to kill U.S. troops in Iraq.
He has emerged as a prominent al-Qaeda recruiter and has been connected by U.S. intelligence to the 9/11 hijackers, the suspects in the November shooting at an Army base in Fort Hood, Texas, and the Christmas DayÂ attempt to blow up a U.S. jetliner bound for Detroit.
For U.S. officials, al-Awlaki is of particular concern because he is one of the few English-speaking radical clerics there is. This means he isÂ able to explain to young Muslims in America and other Western countries the philosophy of violent jihad.
We don’t need any more people like this Yemeni cleric fueling unrest, hatred and violence. Anwar Al-Awlaki is obviously yet another ticking time bomb who has no regard for human life and has delusions of the grand life he’ll live if he dies amidst jihad. People like this truly frighten me, and I pray our government is powerful enough to intercept any actions before they are underway.