Despite comments from the Yemeni embassy in the US suggesting that they believed US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was among the 34 “suspects” killed in yesterday’s air strike, growing indications suggest he was not.
Friends of Awlaki, as well as tribal leaders in the area of the US-backed assassination attempt say the cleric was not harmed in the attack, and his relatives say they have also received word that he is alive and well.
US officials have repeatedly suggested Awlaki may have some ties to al-Qaeda, though the evidence backing up this claim has been elusive. He was reported to have had some ties with Fort Hood attacker Major Hassan.
But Awlaki is not actually charged with any crimes in the US, and the Yemeni government’s repeated praising of American assistance in his attempted assassination certainly raises some uncomfortable questions for the administration, just days after a direct US attack on Yemeni sites killed scores of people, many of them civilians.