White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the U.S. government is actively pursuing American-born terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says the Obama administration is making every effort to track down American-born Anwar al-Awlaki, who is reportedly hiding in a remote mountainous region of Yemen's Shabwa Province.
"We are actively trying to find him and many others throughout the world that seek to do our country, and to do our interests, great harm," Gibbs said.
Al-Awlaki, who is the son of a prominent Yemeni politician, is calling for the killing of American citizens in a new video posted Sunday on the internet. The Yemeni branch of a group that calls itself al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula released the video.
Speaking on the CBS television news' "Face the Nation" program, Gibbs says al-Awlaki advocates killing and violence.
"…despite telling the world that he is a cleric, you see on a video tape that he supports al-Qaida's agenda of murder and violence," Gibbs said. "In fact, in recent video tapes, he has said he is a member of al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsula, who has an agenda just like al-Qaida to strike targets in Yemen, throughout the world, including here in the United States."
Al-Awlaki is alleged to have been a mentor of Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Malak Hasan, who killed 13 people at the Texas base. He is also alleged to have been in contact with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried unsuccessfully to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day.
The exact relationship between Anwar Al-Awlaki and the AQAP isn't exactly known, but his use in a video released by the group is telling of current (or growing) ties.
MEMRI has the full video with English subtitles....
More info on the video over at The Jawa Report...
The video was produced by the media arm of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, though the exact nature of al-Awlaki's ties with the group and possible direct role in it are unclear. The U.S. says he is an active participant in the group, though members of his tribe have denied that. [It's called Taqiyya ― Islamic Principle of Lying for the Sake of Allah]
For its part, al-Qaida appears to be trying to make use of his recruiting power by putting him in its videos. Its media arm said Sunday's video was its first interview with the cleric.