The killing of an al-Qaida leader Friday has caused some to take a “wait just a minute” reaction.
That Anwar al-Awlaki, who was linked two terrorist attempts that would have been catastrophic if they had succeeded, was an evil man doesn’t appear to be in dispute, at least it’s not being disputed by anyone not associated with killing innocent people. Al-Awlaki was behind attempts to yet again use jets as deadly missiles on U.S. soil — a passenger jetliner attempt that was foiled on Christmas two years ago and an attempt using a cargo plane last year.
With Osama bin Laden dead, al-Awlaki had become a central figure in al-Qaida, which has been hampered and fractured, but not eliminated. It’s minions are still working feverishly to kill as many Americans as possible. We should be thankful that for a decade now they have been unsuccessful.
Al-Awlaki was killed Friday when a U.S. drone attacked a convoy he was with in Yemen. He was hunted down and executed based on secret intelligence and the orders of President Obama.
“Al-Qaida and its affiliates will find no safe haven anywhere in the world,” Obama said Friday. “Working with Yemen and our other allies and partners, we will be determined, we will be deliberate, we will be relentless, we will be resolute in our commitment to destroy terrorist networks that aim to kill Americans.”
Some are questioning, however, whether it was “legal” for U.S. forces to target al-Awlaki, not because of he was undeserving, but because of where he was born.
In fact, a second American — Samir Kahn, who was born in North Carolina — was killed in Friday’s assault. Kahn edited a propaganda website deceptively called “Inspire.” What Kahn hoped to “inspire” was people in the West who were sympathetic to the murders who comprise al-Qaida.
This wasn’t the first time an American was killed in an anti-terrorist attack. The earliest known case was in 2002 when Kamal Derwish, also a terror suspect, was killed by missiles in Yemen. In that case, however, Americans weren’t targeting the traitorous Derwish. They were trying to take out Yemeni al-Qaida leader Abu Ali al-Harithi.
Friday’s attack was the first that aimed at killing an American citizen. A traitor and a terrorist, yes, but still an American citizen. The ACLU and al-Awlaki’s family in America argue he was denied due process.
Al-Qaida is a nest of rabid killers, plain and simple. Those who associate with them facilitate their evil work and place Americans and others in deathly danger. Al-Awlaki was a terrorist, a murderer. He knew his work had deadly consequences, and he continued to engage in it. Because of his actions, he suffered the fate that a traitor of this magnitude deserves.
President Obama made the right call.