Friday, 27 August 2010

Father of `terrorist' slams US hitlist

Source: AFP, 27/08/2010
The father of Yemeni-US Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki has accused the American government of acting illegally after it ordered the targeted killing of his son, in comments to a British newspaper.

President Barack Obama's administration added the preacher's name to its hit list several months ago after he was linked to high-profile terrorist incidents.

But his father, Nasser al-Awlaki, told The Times daily that the US should pursue his son through the courts if they believed he was guilty of any wrongdoing.

Advertisement: Story continues belowHe also revealed he was working with Yemeni and American lawyers to seek a federal court order restraining the US government or CIA from killing the cleric without proper legal process.

"What the US government is doing is against the American constitution," he said, speaking in Yemeni capital Sanaa.

"If Anwar has done anything wrong he should be prosecuted not targeted by a drone," added his father, who is a respected moderate politician and university professor in Yemen.

Anwar al-Awlaki, now based in Yemen, rose to prominence last year after he was linked to a US army major who shot dead 13 people in Fort Hood, Texas, and to a Nigerian student accused of trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day.

In April, a US official said the Obama administration had authorised the targeted killing of Awlaki, after American intelligence agencies concluded the cleric was directly involved in anti-US plots.

And in July, the US government said Awlaki was a key leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, placing him on its list of terrorism supporters, freezing his financial assets and banning any transactions with him.

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