Archive for Friday, December 25, 2009

Al-Qaida chiefs targeted in U.S.-backed assault

December 25, 2009

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— Yemen’s military hit suspected al-Qaida hideouts Thursday and targeted a gathering of top militant leaders, possibly killing a radical cleric linked to the U.S. Army major accused of the Fort Hood mass shooting, in strikes carried out with U.S. intelligence help, officials said.

At least 30 militants were believed to be killed in the second such strike in a week. Pentagon officials could not confirm Thursday whether U.S.-born radical cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki was killed in the strike.

Al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico and attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins before moving in 2002 to Yemen. The imam reportedly corresponded by e-mail with Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who is charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, last month.

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