[Updated at 12:21 p.m. ET] The airstrike that killed militant American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in a car in Yemen came from a U.S. drone, a government source who was briefed by the CIA told CNN.
Three others, including Samir Khan, an American of Pakistani origin, were killed with al-Awlaki, reported Yemen's state-run Saba news agency, citing an official security source.
Al-Awlaki was killed about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the Yemeni town of Khashef, east of the capital, Sanaa, said Mohammed Basha, a spokesman for the Yemeni Embassy in Washington. He said the operation was launched at 9:55 a.m.
[Updated at 11:59 a.m. ET] The airstrike that killed radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was part of an American counterterrorism program that "violates both U.S. and international law," said American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer.
"This is a program under which American citizens far from any battlefield can be executed by their own government without judicial process," he said.
A Yemeni official has described the strike as "a successful joint intelligence-sharing operation" between Yemen and the United States
[Updated at 11:53 a.m. ET]Â U.S President Barack Obama said Friday's death ofÂ American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is a major blow for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and marks another milestone in the effort to defeat the terrorist network.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula remains a "dangerous but weakened" threat that calls for continued vigilance on the part of the United States despite al-Awlaki's death, Obama said.
Al-Awlaki - whose fluency in English and technology made him one of the top terrorist recruiters in the world - was killed Friday in an airstrike in Yemen, officials said.
The United States regarded al-Awlaki, the public face of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as a terrorist who posed a major threat to American homeland security. Western intelligence officials believe al-Awlaki was a senior leader of AQAP, one of the most active al Qaeda affiliates in the world. It has been linked to the attempt to blow up an airliner over Detroit in December 2009 and a cargo plane plot last year.
[Updated at 11:25 a.m. ET] Samir Khan, an American ofÂ Pakistani origin specializing in computer programming for al Qaeda, was killed Friday with cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a YemeniÂ security official told the state-run news agency, Saba.Â Khan was also the principal author of Inspire, an online magazine for the terror network.
[Initial post] Friday's death of American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, announced earlier in the day,Â Â happened when an airstrike hit his motorcade, a Yemeni government official told CNN. The source would not say who carried out the strike.
The United States regarded al-Awlaki, the public face of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as a terrorist who posed a major threat to American homeland security. Western intelligence officials believe al-Awlaki was a senior leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, one of the most active al Qaeda affiliates in the world. It has been linked to the attempt to blow up an airliner over Detroit in December 2009 and a cargo plane plot last year.FULL STORY