Anwar al-Awlaki, a top al Qaeda leader in the Arabian peninsula nation of Yemen, has been killed, several news reports said, quoting officials.
The U.S.-born cleric considered the head of the terror group’s Yemeni wing, was killed in an air raid in Yemen, U.S. officials told The New York Times.
He was blamed for several attacks in Yemen, but also was cited as an inspiration for other attacks, like the 2009 mass killings carried out by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist at Fort Hood, Tex. and the attempt to detonate a car bomb in New York’s Times Square.
Awlaki’s group, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was also famously implicated in the attempt by a Nigerian man to blow up a U.S.-bound jet on Christmas Day in 2009.
A Yemeni security official said Awlaki, who is of Yemeni descent, was hit in an air raid and said those killed with him were suspected al Qaeda members.
It was not immediately clear if Yemeni forces had carried out the raid or if Awlaki had been killed by a U.S. drone strike. A U.S. drone aircraft targeted but missed Alwaki in May, the paper said.