Al-Awlaki is Dead: AQAP is Not

The U.S. is warning travelers world-wide of potential retaliation threats for the targeted killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.

A Yemen security official said today that reports that bombmaker Ibrahim al-Asiri was one of those killed with al-Awlaki and Samir Khan is incorrect. As for how they found al-Awlaki, the official said "they had located Awlaki with intelligence gathered from a captured al Qaeda operative." Anyone wonder what tactics were used to get that information?

Al-Awlaki's death is not going to end AQAP or be the end of al Qaeda. For one thing, AQAP's top leaders are still alive, including Nasser al-Wahayshi, deputy leader Said al-Shihri, and military commander Qasim al-Raymi. AQAP will replace its leaders who are killed much faster than we can kill them.

Update 10/2: The US media is finally correcting its reports from yesterday saying bombmaker Ibrahim al-Asiri was killed in the attack on al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. If I could find the Yemeni officials' statements yesterday saying al-Asiri was not killed, why couldn't they? Answer: They probably did see the reports, but chose to run with the unsupported claim by unnamed US officials that he was killed. More bang for the buck I guess -- it made for a juicier story.

< Anwar al-Awlaki Killed in Yemen | 500 Arrested on Brooklyn Bridge in Occupy Wall St. Protests >
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  • Display: Sort:
    Just because you replace someone (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 01, 2011 at 05:24:19 PM EST
    in name does not equal replacing them in competence, abilities, drive, or skill.  Those things matter as well.  Just sayin

    And the resources they expend finding (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jpe on Sat Oct 01, 2011 at 06:25:57 PM EST
    and training a replacement are resources they can't use trying to blow people up.

    So...if it had been Bush, or if it were (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Anne on Sat Oct 01, 2011 at 09:49:58 PM EST
    President Perry/Romney/Bachmann, who had ordered the assassination of an American citizen, and then announced with pride, "mission accomplished," would Democrats' reaction be different than it is with all of this having come from a Democratic president?

    Would those praising the president be excoriating him instead?

    Hey, why not have a war on crime right here in the good old US of A?  Just forget all that constitutional blather about due process: shoot to kill and don't look back. I mean, why not?  What's the difference between al-Awlaki and your average drug lord?  Are gangs not a threat to our safety?  Why not a war against these kinds of people, terrorizing citizens right here?

    Who are we?  

    Are we people who cannot see principle because we are blinded by party?  Are we any different from those who cheered Rick Perry's statement that he doesn't have qualms about possibly executing innocent people?

    Maybe the worst part of all of this is the normalization of policy and action that should make the hair stand up on the necks of anyone who believes in what this country is supposed to stand for.

    These are sad, sick and dangerous times.

    Jesus H., people, read the writing... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Dadler on Sat Oct 01, 2011 at 10:14:58 PM EST
    ...on the friggin' wall.  It is a short matter of time before anyone and everyone who wants to can, say, make their own drone, and we will see them falling here sure as the sun comes up.  Next year, the year after, whenever.  The explosive sky will be overhead, it is only a matter of when, not if.  Then we will see the horribly logical conclusions of all the law and principle we have thrown out the window.  Americans will be collateral damage in their own nation.  Cannot see any other logical outcome.  The technology is out of the bag, no stopping it.  We have to be better, not worse, but we seem happy to be nothing much of anything.

    Pitiful, and inexcusably so in our inability to see clearly the future we are building one idiotic step at a time.  Occupy Wall Street, but believe every stupid claim from the military industrial complex with SUCH a history of being right on things.  

    So you foresee (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 08:26:59 AM EST
    The military in charge using drones as enforcement devices?

    Come on, Dadler. We can all be suspicious of the government but isn't that a little much?

    Off subject:

    How was your trip? I hope you convinced your Dad to get a hearing aid.


    Cops already use drones here (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Dadler on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 11:33:05 AM EST
    Jim, there is NO other logical outcome of the direction we are heading.  Law enforcement, I repeat, already uses drones to spy down on the domestic scene.  If you think evolution moves backwards when it comes to this kind of thing, good for you, but that's very wishful thinking.

    In 20 year, Jim, I have NO doubt, none at all, if current trends continue, that folks like me will be running for their lives from an underclass that is huge, angry and very well armed.

    The U.S.A. has decided to stop caring about itself, its future, or much of anything but the most deluded ideas of immediate "security."

    Haven't left yet, week after next.  Be lucky if I can manage not to mouth off at security, when I am forced to endure a wildly inane series of measures which neither ensure my security nor make the country anything less that increasingly collectively mentally retarded.


    The killing of al-Awlaki (none / 0) (#1)
    by KeysDan on Sat Oct 01, 2011 at 04:08:34 PM EST
    is likely to further entangle us in the political crisis in Yemen, with a renewed, even if reluctant, commitment to the embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh.  It is in our larger interest for Saleh to get out of town, permanently, but with a new CIA base in the area and his  helpful "intelligence" contributions we may be saddled with him much to our disadvantage.

    It does not seem, to me, to be a coincidence that Saleh, recovering in Saudi Arabia from severe burn and other injuries sustained in an   assassination attempt, happened to return  to Yemen just in time for the drone strike on Anwar al-Awlaki. It seems more likely to me that he made the journey to bolster his position as a "partner" and to soften the calls for his relinquishing of the presidency.

    We have been working with Yemen (none / 0) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 08:35:56 AM EST
    for years and had some forces in the area, even before Obama.  We began expanding our efforts there about two years ago when AQAP began to get more organized and stronger.  If not Saleh then who? It is the same problem we have in Afghanistan. Before we came to work somewhat with Saleh though, he worked with Al Qaeda in order to hold power.  It is a constant threat of civil war situation.

    tactics (none / 0) (#2)
    by diogenes on Sat Oct 01, 2011 at 04:45:08 PM EST
    "Anyone wonder what tactics were used to get that information?"

    Torture couldn't have been used since it has been well documented here that torture does not provide any useful information to anyone.

    Money and Maxim Magazines (none / 0) (#13)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 09:37:19 AM EST
    Not just here (none / 0) (#15)
    by Yman on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 02:22:23 PM EST
    Leaving aside any issues of legality or morality, as much as the wingers love them some Jack Bauer fantasies there is simply no evidence that torture is effective at providing good intelligence.

    Should we (none / 0) (#5)
    by koshembos on Sat Oct 01, 2011 at 07:05:22 PM EST
    A prolonged asymmetric war may require unorthodox means. Killing the heads of terror organizations doesn't destroy the organization, but it does cause disarray, it drives leaders deeper underground and limits their effectiveness.

    Whether the US needs such measures in unclear to me. It is highly possible that alternative means will do at least as much.

    Killing your own citizen opens the door to  similar acts inside the US. We are already an oligarchy; I don't know what president Perry will do.

    President Perry will do (none / 0) (#6)
    by Rojas on Sat Oct 01, 2011 at 08:27:56 PM EST
    Much the same as president Bill Clinton did. Their records are pretty clear.

    Heh, heh, heh ... never fails (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Yman on Sat Oct 01, 2011 at 09:13:50 PM EST
    Like some kind of bizarro, word-association game.

    Obama - "But, but Clinton ..."!
    Conservatives - "But, but Clinton ..."!
    spahetti - "But, but Clinton ..."!


    Bizarre (none / 0) (#16)
    by Rojas on Mon Oct 03, 2011 at 08:07:33 AM EST
    Vicky Weaver
    Mt. Carmel Does
    Esequiel Hernandez
    After a administration in which the murder of a US citizen would bring protection by the DOJ or a cash bonus in lieu of decorations people are surprised that we have evolved to the current standard.

    Riiiiiiiiight ... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Yman on Mon Oct 03, 2011 at 08:23:04 AM EST
    Tell me again ... when exactly did Clinton order the killing of Weaver, the Davidians or Hernandez?



    Tell me (none / 0) (#18)
    by Rojas on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 08:16:20 AM EST
    what sanctions were brought against the killers of Weaver, the Davidians or Hernandez?

    Not the point (none / 0) (#19)
    by Yman on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 09:17:56 AM EST
    My point is the ridiculousness of comparing the deliberate, authorized killing of Americans to law enforcement actions gone wrong.  Although I understand why you make the attempt.

    But since you ask, 12 FBI agents were disciplined for Ruby Ridge, a grand jury heard the case against the marine who shot Hernandez and did not indict him, and the killers of the Branch Davidians died in the fire.


    What would those means be? (none / 0) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 08:23:32 AM EST
    Whether the US needs such measures in unclear to me. It is highly possible that alternative means will do at least as much.