Some great news today..Anwar al-Awlaqi was a 40-year-old Muslim cleric who specialized in recruiting potential jihadis for terrorism, and Samir Khan was the co-editor of al-Qaeda's slick internet mag Inspire.
The good news is that both of them caught the wrong end of a Hellfire missile fired from a Predator drone and are now crispy halal critters.
The strike took place this morning five miles from the town of Khashef in Yemen’s northern Jawf province, 87 miles east of the capital, Sanaa.
Both Awlaki and Khan were U.S. citizens, which means some of the usual suspects on the Left ( I'm looking at you, Glen Greenwald) are bewailing this...but then so is Ron Paul. They seem to have forgotten that Awlaki and Kahn are traitors according to the rather strict definition given by our Constitution, and thus subject to summary execution since they chose not to surrender and go to trial and were actively engaged in hostilities against the U.S. They were subject to death or capture, whichever worked out. They won't be missed.
U.S. intelligence had been tracking Awlaki for quite some time, and a local tribal leader said Awlaqi had been moving in the provinces Marib and Jawf for the past three weeks because he was worried about being targeted in Yemen’s southern Shabwa province, the main area where his tribe lives.
There's an interesting political subtext here. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula ( AQAP) has actively been involved in the local 'Arab Spring' movement seeking to oust Yemen's Saleh regime. Of late, Saleh has been co-operating quite a bit with U.S. intelligence and some of the opposition see this as a ploy for Saleh to remain in power.
Another complex part of the mix is that Yemen has become a sort of proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran just like Bahrain was, with Iran backing the rebels and the Saudis backing the Saleh regime. This may be a sign that the Obama Administration has finally come to its senses about the so-called Arab Spring the president helped unleash and is trying to cut its losses somewhat.
In any event, it's a excellent end for two really evil men. And I use that term loosely.
PS: ABC News also refers to these creatures as 'jihadis'. *Gasp* Are elements of the dinosaur media finally starting to catch up to Joshuapundit??!!? What's next? Using the "T" word?