AQAP still threat to U.S. despite death of al-Awlaki
This undated still image from video released in October 2010 from the SITE Intelligence Group shows Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Yemeni-American cleric in Yemen AFP/Getty Images
October 6th, 2011
04:15 PM ET

AQAP still threat to U.S. despite death of al-Awlaki

By CNN Senior Producer Carol Cratty

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is "a significant threat to the homeland" despite the death of U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki who was killed last week in Yemen by a U.S. drone strike, FBI Director Robert Mueller said on Thursday.

Mueller said al-Awlaki was "behind the recruiting of personnel who could undertake attacks in the United States." Mueller said AQAP still has the ability to make improvised explosive devices, and it would be "somewhat more difficult" for the group to find operatives to bring them into the U.S. on airplanes. But the FBI chief said the possibility of finding such people still exists.

That view was echoed by the head of the National Counterterrorism Center, Matthew Olsen who joined Mueller for testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. "We remain concerned about the group's intent to attack Western targets as well as its propaganda efforts designed to inspire like-minded Western extremists," said Olsen.

President Obama and other officials have described al-Awlaki as the terror group's leader of external operations and focused on attacking the U.S. Al-Awlaki was an English-speaker and allegedly a potent recruiter of American extremists. But according to Olsen, the deaths of al-Awlaki and another U.S. citizen and AQAP propagandist Samir Khan may not be enough to cripple the group's recruiting efforts. "We are monitoring how the loss of Awlaki and Khan will affect AQAP's propaganda machine," said Olsen.

According to an FBI and Department of Homeland Security joint intelligence bulletin issued shortly after al-Awlaki was killed, he allegedly "provided instructions on detonating an explosive device" to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who is accused of trying to ignite a bomb hidden in his underwear while aboard a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas day of 2009. That law enforcement document also said al-Awlaki "directed" the failed 2010 plot to blow up cargo planes with explosives hidden in printer cartridges.

U.S. officials say Ibrahim Hasan al-Asiri, the bomb-maker who allegedly designed those devices, is still at large in Yemen.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Anwar al-Awlaki • AQAP • FBI • Homeland Security • Living With Terror • NCTC • Terrorism
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. bqoglrs

    QEZLNz trxtoigbtsao

    December 26, 2011 at 11:44 am | Reply
  2. qhdsbvjnx

    gnUAKD kxteeiofgdml

    December 24, 2011 at 7:25 am | Reply
  3. Lyzbeth

    Dag nabbit good stuff you wihppernsppaers!

    December 23, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Reply
  4. Angela Ranches

    I am not convince for what is going to our country of United States of America, proud I was migrated to this soil of my destiny born from Philippines, worldwide knew BIN LADEN has been killed, still no peace to the world, terrorist secretly attacking by means of bombing and ambush innocent people, I keep writing and don't stop, I can feel we are invaded by middle eatern terrorist people, recruited U.S. citizen who are the informant, as we should be careful, many of them are disguiser and we should not trust anybody, rich or poor, no matter what race, we should be alert to our surroundings, especially suspicious behaviour, why they destroyed twin tower in N.Y., to build MUSLIM MOSQUE but no way people of United States untied together for better for worst to protect from Muslim invader to occupy U.S. territory, our rights to fight and protect whoever conquer, never believe whatever they promised to win the heart of our people, prove we are not STUPID, we should always be alert at all times from foreign people of no where who are our secret enemy.

    October 11, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Reply
    • outspoken

      you seems to prentend that USA govt is very innnocent and muslims are doing all sort of bad things.
      Wake up and look around.

      October 11, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  5. KRM1007

    They should be concerned about AQIA Al Qaeda In India

    October 10, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  6. JP

    be someone to take the place of those whom we kill.

    October 8, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  7. JP

    Al Qaeda is just a bogeyman but also an excuse. We are as likely to end this war as Palpetine was willing to end the conflict in Revenge of the Sith after the death of Count Duku. There will ALWAYS

    October 8, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  8. InfidelHere

    If we can't even call out the “WHY?” (cult ideology called ISLAM) and the “WHO?” (“good” muslims) that we are fighting along with understanding that a “War on Terror” is their tactic or “HOW?”, then our idiotic PC self-deception will eventually defeat us!!

    October 7, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Reply
    • savehumanity

      well done! carry on lapping up what the government tell ya.
      a bunch of guys in pyjamas and sandals with rifles really is the biggest threat to US security??
      and bombing foreign lands via drones is not terrorism??
      and defending USA oil supply is a cause worth the lives of US soldiers??
      i had never heard of Awlaki until he was murdered in a terrorist attack by the US. his message to the west on youtube was very balanced. he proved that Muslims are not in favour of killing innocent people in any shape or form, its time the US start believing in this too but it'll never happen
      AlQaeda is a phantom created by the US (bin laden was a CIA operative) to allow it to continue to do what it does, bully, butcher and build its empire. Shame on all those that believe in this.
      islam is jewdaism and christianity in their purest form and being the largest followed religion in the world make it NOT a cult.

      July 8, 2012 at 5:54 am | Reply
  9. Lisa Merriam

    I disagree about al Qaeda being a threat. It is nothing like it was. In fact, its brand is dead and soon, the organization will follow it to the grave:

    October 6, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Reply

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