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Former San Diego Islamic Cleric Could Be Contender for Bin Laden’s Job

Audio

Aired 5/5/11

Anwar Al-Awlaki has acted independently of Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders.

— An Islamic cleric who used to preach at a La Mesa mosque could be in line to lead Al Qaeda following Osama bin Laden’s killing.

U.S. investigators believe Awlaki has inspired homegrown terrorists including the Fort Hood army major accused of killing 13 people. Experts say that Awlaki doesn’t need guidance from Al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Steve Clemons of the public policy institute the New American Foundation says Awlaki likely aspires to fill bin Laden’s shoes.

“I think he may make a play for it but I think there’s a chance he’s not going to become the next bin Laden but I do think he has an appetite for it but so will others," Clemons said.

Awlaki has his own magazine called Inspire. Counterterrorism officials believe Awlaki is hiding out in Yemen.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | May 6, 2011 at 11:54 a.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, Ms Sharma, but the headline almost makes it sound like he's applying for a vacant position at City Hall!

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | May 6, 2011 at 5:26 p.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

The loss of bin Laden has taken away al-Qaeda's ability to inspire its followers. That doesn't mean the war is over. There's a good chance this war will never end so long as poverty, oppression, a lack of education and productive work are unavailable in countries across the world (including our own).

It will, however, be interesting to see who takes charge of the terrorist group. That person's actions will define the course of the war moving forward.

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