Challenging the Influence of Anwar Al-Awlaki
Anwar Al-Awlaki, an extremist preacher of Yemeni descent, is the first U.S. citizen ever to be placed on the CIA targeted kill list. His extremist sermons have been seen as the inspiration behind a number of high profile terrorist plots, including the shootings at Fort Hood in November 2009 and the attempt to detonate an explosive device on board a Christmas Day flight to Detroit.
Jack Barclay looks at Al-Awlaki’s use of the internet to spread his message. It then highlights the challenges that have been made to his authority by other figures within the Salafi movement. The paper argues that this intra-Salafi debate could be the most important weapon in countering Al-Awlaki’s influence.