75 Facts About Anwar al-Awlaki


Anwar Nasser Abdulla al-Awlaki was an American imam who was killed in 2011 in Yemen by a US government drone strike ordered by President Barack Obama.


Anwar al-Awlaki was detained by Yemeni authorities in 2006, where he spent 18 months in prison before being released without facing trial.


Anwar al-Awlaki was linked to Nidal Hasan, the convicted perpetrator of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempted to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253.


Two weeks later, Anwar al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen who was born in Denver, Colorado, was killed by a CIA-led drone strike in Yemen.


Al-Awlaki was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, US in 1971 to parents from Yemen, while his father, Nasser Anwar al-Awlaki, was doing graduate work at US universities.


Anwar al-Awlaki's father was a Fulbright Scholar who earned a master's degree in agricultural economics at New Mexico State University in 1971, received a doctorate at the University of Nebraska, and worked at the University of Minnesota from 1975 to 1977.


Nasser Anwar al-Awlaki served as Agriculture Minister in Ali Abdullah Saleh's government.

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The family returned to Yemen in 1978, when Anwar al-Awlaki was seven years old.


Anwar al-Awlaki lived there for 11 years, and studied at Azal Modern School.


In 1991, Anwar al-Awlaki returned to the US to attend college.


In 1993, while still a college student in Colorado State's civil engineering program, Anwar al-Awlaki visited Afghanistan in the aftermath of the Soviet occupation.


Anwar al-Awlaki spent some time training with the mujahideen who had fought the Soviets.


Anwar al-Awlaki was depressed by the country's poverty and hunger, and "wouldn't have gone with al-Qaeda," according to friends from Colorado State, who said he was profoundly affected by the trip.


Anwar al-Awlaki worked on a doctorate in Human Resource Development at The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development from January to December 2001.


In 1994, Anwar al-Awlaki married a cousin from Yemen, and began service as a part-time imam of the Denver Islamic Society.


Anwar al-Awlaki left Denver soon after, moving to San Diego.


One of the mosque's board members who hired Al-Awlaki stated he was convinced that Anwar al-Awlaki had no inclinations or activities to do with terrorism.


Anwar al-Awlaki led academic discussions frequented by FBI Director of Counter-Intelligence for the Middle East Gordon M Snow.


Anwar al-Awlaki was interviewed by National Geographic, The New York Times, and other media.


Later in 2002, Anwar al-Awlaki posted an essay in Arabic on the Islam Today website titled "Why Muslims Love Death", lauding the fervor of Palestinian suicide bombers.


Anwar al-Awlaki expressed a similar opinion in a speech at a London mosque later that year.


Anwar al-Awlaki's name was added to the list of terrorism suspects.


Anwar al-Awlaki later corrected his place of birth to Las Cruces, New Mexico.


US Congressman Frank Wolf and several congressional committees urged FBI Director Robert Mueller to provide an explanation about the bureau's interactions with Anwar al-Awlaki, including why he was released from federal custody when there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest.


Gaouette said that if Anwar al-Awlaki had been convicted at the time, he would have faced about six months in custody.

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The New York Times suggested later that Anwar al-Awlaki had claimed birth in Yemen to qualify for scholarship money granted to foreign citizens.


US Congressman Frank R Wolf wrote in May 2010 that by claiming to be foreign-born, al-Awlaki fraudulently obtained more than $20,000 in scholarship funds reserved for foreign students.


Anwar al-Awlaki lived in the United Kingdom for several months, where he gave talks attended by up to 200 people.


Anwar al-Awlaki gave a series of lectures in December 2002 and January 2003 at the London Masjid al-Tawhid mosque, describing the rewards martyrs receive in paradise.


Anwar al-Awlaki began to gain supporters, particularly among young Muslims, and undertook a lecture tour of England and Scotland in 2002 in conjunction with the Muslim Association of Britain.


Anwar al-Awlaki lectured at "ExpoIslamia", an event held by Islamic Forum Europe.


Anwar al-Awlaki lectured at Iman University, headed by Abdul Majeed al-Zindani.


Anwar al-Awlaki's name was on a list of 100 prisoners whose release was sought by al-Qaeda-linked militants in Yemen.


Anwar al-Awlaki moved to his family home in Saeed, a hamlet in the Shabwa mountains.


In December 2008, Anwar al-Awlaki sent a communique to the Somali terrorist group, al-Shabaab, congratulating them.


Anwar al-Awlaki was believed to be hiding in Yemen's Shabwa or Mareb regions, which are part of the so-called "triangle of evil".


Yemeni sources originally said Anwar al-Awlaki might have been killed in a pre-dawn air strike by Yemeni Air Force fighter jets on a meeting of senior al-Qaeda leaders at a hideout in Rafd in eastern Shabwa, on December 24,2009.


Pravda reported that the planes, using Saudi and US intelligence, killed at least 30 al-Qaeda members from Yemen and abroad, and that an Anwar al-Awlaki house was "raided and demolished".


In March 2010, a tape featuring Anwar al-Awlaki was released in which he urged Muslims residing in the United States to attack their country of residence.


Anwar al-Awlaki gave video-link talks in England to an Islamic student society at the University of Westminster in September 2008, an arts center in East London in April 2009, worshippers at the Al Huda Mosque in Bradford, and a dinner of the Cageprisoners organization in September 2008 at the Wandsworth Civic Centre in South London.


Anwar al-Awlaki's name came up in a dozen terrorism plots in the US, UK, and Canada.


Michael Finton, who attempted in September 2009 to bomb the Federal Building and the adjacent offices of Congressman Aaron Schock in Springfield, Illinois, admired Anwar al-Awlaki and quoted him on his Myspace page.


Rockwood was a devoted follower of Anwar al-Awlaki, and had studied his works Constants on the Path to Jihad and 44 Ways to Jihad.


Anwar al-Awlaki was investigated by the FBI after intelligence agencies intercepted at least 18 e-mails between him and al-Awlaki between December 2008 and June 2009.


The Wall Street Journal reported in January 2010 that Anwar al-Awlaki had not "played a direct role" in any of the attacks, and noted he had never been charged with a crime in the US.

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On his-disabled website, Anwar al-Awlaki praised Hasan's actions, describing him as a hero.


In January 2010, CNN reported that US "security sources" said that there is concrete evidence that Anwar al-Awlaki was Abdulmutallab's recruiter and one of his trainers, and met with him prior to the attack.


In February 2010, Anwar al-Awlaki admitted in an interview published in al-Jazeera that he taught and corresponded with Abdulmutallab, but denied having ordered the attack.


Abdulmutallab told the FBI that Anwar al-Awlaki was one of his al-Qaeda trainers in Yemen.


Anwar al-Awlaki met there with al-Qaeda members in a house built by al-Awlaki.


In January 2010, Anwar al-Awlaki acknowledged that he met and spoke with Abdulmutallab in Yemen in the fall of 2009.


Fox News reported in early February 2010 that Abdulmutallab told federal investigators that Anwar al-Awlaki directed him to carry out the bombing.


In June 2010 Michael Leiter, the Director of the US National Counterterrorism Center, said Anwar al-Awlaki had a "direct operational role" in the plot.


In 2010, after Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, cartoonist Molly Norris at Seattle Weekly had to stop publishing, and at the suggestion of the FBI changed her name, moved, and went into hiding due to a fatwa issued by Anwar al-Awlaki calling for her death.


The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Daily Telegraph reported that US and British counter-terrorism officials believed that Anwar al-Awlaki was behind the cargo plane PETN bombs that were sent from Yemen to Chicago in October 2010.


The governor of Shabwa said in January 2010 that Anwar al-Awlaki was on the move with members of al-Qaeda, including Fahd al-Quso, who was wanted in connection with the bombing of the USS Cole.


In January 2010, White House lawyers debated whether or not it was legal to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, given his US citizenship.


Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, the Yemeni foreign minister, announced that the Yemeni government had not received any evidence from the US, and that "Anwar al-Awlaki has always been looked at as a preacher rather than a terrorist and shouldn't be considered as a terrorist unless the Americans have evidence that he has been involved in terrorism".


Stuart Levey, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, called him "extraordinarily dangerous", and said Anwar al-Awlaki was involved in several organizational aspects of terrorism, including recruiting, training, fundraising, and planning individual attacks.


In September 2010, Jonathan Evans, the Director General of the United Kingdom's domestic security and counter-intelligence agency, said that Anwar al-Awlaki was the West's Public Enemy No 1.


Anwar al-Awlaki said that al-Awlaki and Assem had been in contact for months, and that al-Awlaki had encouraged Assem to commit terrorism.


On May 5,2011, the United States tried but failed to kill Anwar al-Awlaki by firing a missile from an unmanned drone at a car in Yemen.


On September 30,2011, Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a US drone strike in Al Jawf Governorate, Yemen, according to US sources, the strike was carried out by Joint Special Operations Command, under the direction of the CIA.


The occupants of the vehicle spotted the drone and attempted to flee in the vehicle before Hellfire missiles were fired Yemen's Defense Ministry announced that Anwar al-Awlaki had been killed.


Anwar al-Awlaki took the lead in planning and directing efforts to murder innocent Americans.

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The memo stated that Anwar al-Awlaki was a significant threat with an infeasible probability of capture.


Anwar al-Awlaki stood a lanky six feet, one inch tall, weighed 160 pounds, and had a thick black beard, an oversized nose, and wire-rimmed glasses.


Anwar al-Awlaki and Egyptian-born Gihan Mohsen Baker had a son, Abdulrahman Anwar al-Awlaki, born August 26,1995, in Denver, who was an American citizen.


Abdulrahman Anwar al-Awlaki was killed on October 14,2011, in Yemen at the age of 16 in an American drone strike.


Abdulrahman Anwar al-Awlaki was not known to have any independent connection to terrorism.


In 2013, Nasser Anwar al-Awlaki published an op-ed in The New York Times stating that two years after killing his grandson, the Obama administration still declines to provide an explanation.


In 2012, Nasser al-Awlaki filed a lawsuit, Al-Aulaqi v Panetta, challenging the constitutionality of the drone killings of his son and grandson.


On January 29,2017, Anwar al-Awlaki's 8-year-old daughter, Nawar al-Awlaki, who was an American citizen, was killed in a DEVGRU operation authorized by President Donald Trump.


Anwar al-Awlaki read 150 to 200 pages a day of Qutb's works, and described himself as "so immersed with the author I would feel Sayyid was with me in my cell speaking to me directly".


In "44 Ways to Support Jihad", posted on his blog in February 2009, Anwar al-Awlaki encouraged others to "fight jihad", and explained how to give money to the mujahideen or their families.