Yemeni Official Points Finger at US-Born Cleric Over Detroit Plot

US Claims Awlaki 'A Significant Part of al-Qaeda'

Yemen’s Deputy Prime Minister Rashad Mohammed al-Alimi today accused US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki of being potentially involved with the failed Detroit Lap Bomber, the highest ranking official yet to make the charge.

Anwar al-Awlaki

Though Awlaki isn’t current accused of any crimes by the US, US officials are also now making even bigger charges, claiming that Awlaki is “a significant part of al-Qaeda.”

Awlaki was the target of a US-backed Yemeni strike on Christmas Eve, which Yemeni officials initially claimed killed Awlaki and several high ranking al-Qaeda suspects, but which they later acknowledged Awlaki wasn’t even at.

Awlaki’s family was quick to assure that he was alive, and today a Yemeni journalist reportedly spoke with Awlaki over the phone and confirmed that he is in fact alive. Awlaki’s rhetoric has long held sway with some militant factions, but actually evidence tying him to the actions of any group has thus far been elusive or at least not publicly available.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of