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Updated: November 8, 2010 19:00 IST

Radical Yemeni cleric calls for killing Americans

AP
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This October 2008 file photo shows Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born Yemeni cleric and recruiter for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, in Yemen. AP.
This October 2008 file photo shows Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born Yemeni cleric and recruiter for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, in Yemen. AP.

A radical U.S.-born Yemeni Islamist cleric has called for the killing of Americans in a new video message posted on radical web sites.

A U.S.—born radical Yemeni cleric has called for the killing of Americans in a new video message posted on radical web sites on Monday.

Anwar al—Awlaki said Americans are from the “party of devils” and so don’t require any special religious permission to kill.

In the 23—minute Arabic language message entitled “Make it known and clear to mankind,” al—Awlaki said it was “either them or us.” He also called all Arab and Yemeni leaders “corrupt” and said it was time for religious scholars to take charge.

“Kings, emirs, and presidents are not now qualified to lead the nation, or even a flock of sheep,” he said. “If the leaders are corrupt, the scholars have the responsibility to lead the nation.”

The video showed him wearing traditional Yemeni clothes with a dagger at his belt sitting behind a desk.

U.S. investigators say al—Awlaki’s sermons have been a key inspiration for a string of militants, including possibly the Pakistani man who tried to detonate a car bomb in Times Square this year.

He also had e—mail contacts with the Army psychiatrist accused of shooting 13 people in Fort Hood, Texas.

They say that since he returned to Yemen in 2006, al—Awlaki has moved beyond inspiration to take a role as an active operative in al—Qaeda’s affiliate there.

On Friday, the Al—Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for sending bombs through the mail in packages addressed to the U.S. which was thwarted a week ago.

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