Western Drone Attack in Yemen Highly Damaging to al-Qaida For Now

By: AP
By: AP

SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Yesterday's U.S. drone attack in Yemen has
killed two key al-Qaida voices and possibly its top bomb-maker in
the country.

Anwar al-Awlaki issued his English-language sermons on jihad
over the Internet, reaching Muslim recruits like the young Nigerian
accused of trying to blow up a passenger jet over the U.S. on
Christmas Day 2009 with a bomb in his underwear.

The U.S.-born cleric also inspired the Pakistani-American behind the botched car bombing in New York's Times Square and exchanged emails with the Army major charged in the Fort Hood shooting rampage.

Officials identify the other American killed as Samir Khan. He
published an English-language Web magazine that spouted al-Qaida's anti-Western ideology and offered how-to articles on things like bomb-making.

But at least one al-Qaida expert says the biggest blow may be
the death of Ibrahim al-Asiri.

While al-Asiri's death has not officially been confirmed, U.S. officials say intelligence indicates the bomb-maker was killed along with al-Awlaki and Khan.

He's been linked to the underwear bomber and is believed to have
built the bombs that al-Qaida slipped into printers and tried to
ship to the U.S. last year.

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