A Muslim cleric tied to the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner has become the first U.S. citizen added to a list of suspected terrorists the CIA is authorized to kill, a U.S. official said Tuesday.
Anwar al-Aulaqi, who resides in Yemen, was previously placed on a target list maintained by the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command and has survived at least one strike carried out by Yemeni forces with U.S. assistance against a gathering of suspected al-Qaeda operatives.
Because he is a U.S. citizen, adding Aulaqi to the CIA list required special approval from the White House, officials said. The move means that Aulaqi would be considered a legitimate target not only for a military strike carried out by U.S. and Yemeni forces, but also for lethal CIA operations.
“He’s in everybody’s sights,” said the U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the topic’s sensitivity.
Good. Awlaki may have US citizenship, but he’s sided with America’s enemies and provided aid and comfort to them. He’s a traitor who’s made his choice, so he can pay the price.
And while I’ve been heavy in my criticism of President Obama, he earns praise for this. Guys like al-Awlaki deserve to be treated as enemies in wartime, not as suspected criminals to be investigated and brought to trial. He should take the opportunity this presents to rectify his mistake in approving civilian trials for Khaild Sheikh Muhammad and other al-Qaeda plotters and instead return them to the military justice system, where captured enemies belong.
LINKS: More at Hot Air.