In an important hit against al Qaeda, U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki - the face of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula - has been killed, officials say. Just who was he?
* Al-Awlaki has been described as the "bin Laden" of the internet.
* American-born Muslim scholar and cleric who acts as a spokesperson for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He is believed to be hiding in the mountains of Yemen.
* Suspected of playing a key part in the failed plot to bring down a jetliner over Detroit on December 25, 2009. Al-Awlaki is also suspected of encouraging Army Maj. Nidal Hasan to kill 13 fellow soldiers at Ft. Hood in 2009.
* Birth date: April 21, 1971
* Birth place: Las Cruces, New Mexico
* Birth name: Anwar al-Awlaki
* Father: Nasser al-Awlaki (a former government minister and university president)
* Marriage: Married to a cousin (1994-present)
* Children: Five (some sources say three)
* Education: Colorado State University, BS in Civil Engineering; San Diego State University, Masters in Education; George Washington University, attended a PhD Human Resources program
* Lived in the U.S. until age seven when his family returned to Yemen. Al-Awlaki returned to the U.S. in 1991 for college and remained until 2002. He then briefly lived in London before returning to Yemen.
* Was arrested in San Diego in 1996 and 1997 for soliciting prostitutes.
* As an imam in California and Virginia, al-Awlaki preached to and interacted with three of the 9/11 hijackers according to the 9/11 Commission Report. He publicly condemned the attacks afterward.
* Spent 18 months in a Yemeni prison in 2006-2007 on kidnapping charges, but was released without going to trial. Al-Awlaki claims that he was imprisoned and held at the request of the U.S.
* Civil rights groups ACLU and CCR (Center for Constitutional Rights) have filed lawsuits on behalf of Nasser al-Awlaki, seeking to prevent the U.S. from killing his son in a targeted assassination.
* In 2010, the U.S. Treasury Dept. named al-Awlaki a specially designated global terrorist.
* November 2, 2010 – Is formally charged in absentia with incitement to kill foreigners by Yemeni prosecutors. Charges stem from his connection to suspects in the Christmas Day airline bombing attempt and the Ft. Hood shooting.
* January 17, 2011 – A Yemeni court sentences in absentia al-Awlaki to 10 years in prison for charges of inciting to kill foreigners.
* May 6, 2011 – A U.S. official tells CNN that a al-Awlaki was targeted by a missile strike from a military drone within the last two days. He was not injured, but two al Qaeda operatives were killed.