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The Daily Need

A new message from Anwar al-Awlaki

In this image taken from video and released by SITE Intelligence Group on Monday, Nov. 8, 2010, Anwar al-Awlaki speaks in a video message posted on radical websites. Photo: AP/SITE Intelligence Group

Al-Qaida sure knows how to adapt, as we learned in our recent story about Yemen becoming the next host country to al-Qaida in the Arab Peninsula. The latest adaptation comes in the form of a new 23-minute video by the influential cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, posted on al-Qaida friendly websites just four days after many (though not all) of al-Awlaki’s jihadist videos were removed from YouTube. Often called the Bin Laden of the Internet, the 39-year-old al-Awlaki, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Yemen, called for his followers to go ahead and kill Americans and not bother waiting for a fatwa or “special occasion.” Compared to the Bin Laden videos of old, al-Awlaki’s video is pretty slick. Analysts say that al-Awlaki, who has inspired the likes of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hassan and the Christmas day “underwear bomber” Farouq Umar Abdulmutallab, derives much of his power from his ability to recruit English-speaking jihadis due to his understanding of Western culture.

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