Five reasons it will be hard for Yemen to 'destroy' Al Qaeda franchise

Five challenges Yemen's government faces as it tries to 'destroy' AQAP:

By , Staff writer , Staff writer , Correspondent

3. Anwar al-Awlaki’s influence

The cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is a dual US and Yemeni citizen now believed to be living in one of Yemen's de-facto autonomous tribal areas. Mr. Awlaki is part of a small cadre of militant Islamist clerics reaching out to English-speaking Muslims to encourage them to convert to Al Qaeda’s brand of Islam and perform acts of violence.

That's made him a particular case for US concern. US Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan was in e-mail contact with Awlaki before he murdered 12 people, mostly Army comrades, at Fort Hood in November 2009. US officials say Awlaki is an AQAP leader, and the Obama administration has reportedly authorized the extrajudicial killing of Awlaki, an unusual move that avoids the due process usually afforded to US citizens.

There have been some unconfirmed reports that he also had contact with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the failed underwear bomber from Christmas 2009. Yemen, which arrested Awlaki in 2006 but let him go 18 months later, says it is again seeking to arrest him.

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