Senior Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in Yemen early Friday morning by a CIA-led U.S. drone strike, marking the highest-profile takedown of a terror leader since the raid on Usama bin Laden's compound.
Fox News has learned that two Predator drones hovering above al-Awlaki's convoy fired the Hellfire missiles which killed the terror leader. The operation was carried out by Joint Special Operations Command, under the direction of the CIA.
"AQAP has lost its ideological leader, which is a huge blow," a former intelligence official who has tracked al-Awlaki for years told Fox News.
Al-Awlaki was a U.S.-born Islamic militant cleric who became a prominent figure with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the network's most active branch. He was involved in several terror plots in the United States in recent years, using his fluent English and Internet savvy to draw recruits to carry out attacks. President Obama signed an order in early 2010 making him the first American to be placed on the "kill or capture" list.
The Yemeni government and Defense Ministry announced al-Awlaki's death, without giving details. But American sources confirmed the CIA and U.S. military were behind the strike on al-Awlaki, whom one official described as a "big fish."
Friday, September 30, 2011
CIA Directed Al-Awlaki Strike in Yemen
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