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That’ll Show ’em: Yemen Indicts Anwar al-Awlaki


According to Yemen’s new agency, the charges against the reputed al-Qaeda recruiter who is tied to several terrorist attacks (including 9/11) include “plotting” (which, I assume, means conspiracy) and “incitement to murder foreigners.” [Thanks to Family Security Matters.]

The indictment is the illusion of movement, and you can expect it to be spun that way. But don’t be fooled: Awlaki is not in custody and there are no apparent prospects that he will be apprehended any time soon. The chief al-Qaeda bomb-maker in Yemen, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri (whom I discuss in my column this morning), has been under indictment for some time. (As I’ve pointed out on other occasions, Osama bin Laden has been under U.S. indictment for a dozen years — hasn’t seemed to deter him much.) The indictment just gives our “ally,” the Yemeni government, another rationale for not extraditing Awlaki to the U.S. if he ever is captured. Don’t let that bother you, though: They weren’t going to give him to us anyway.


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