US-Backed Yemeni Air Strike Kills 34

US Hasn't Charged Cleric With Any Crimes, But Did They Help Yemen With Assassination Attempt?

by Jason Ditz, December 24, 2009

The Yemeni government killed at least 34 people today in an attack on what they referred to as a “suspected al-Qaeda site” but was later revealed to be the home of US-born cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi.

US citizen Anwar al-Aulaqi
Aulaqi made headlines last month when it was revealed that Fort Hood gunman Major Hasan had attempted to contact him. Aulaqi’s family said the cleric was not home at the time of the attack, which the Yemeni government credited to US intelligence.

Which is problematic, according to Aulaqi’s father. The cleric, an American born US citizen, is not charged with any crimes despite speculation of unspecified al-Qaeda ties. If the US government helped Yemen in an assassination attempt against one of its own citizens, this certainly warrants analysis.

Yemen, for its part, claims that all the people killed were “militants,” but the government has made similar claims following attacks on open-air markets and hospitals in the rebel north. Yemeni officials speculate the cleric may be dead.

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