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Anwar al-AwlakiAmerican-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who spoke fluent English and was one of the top terror recruiters in the world, was killed today in a Yemeni airstrike, according to officials.

Al-Awlaki’s death deals another blow to Al Qaeda, which is still reeling from the killing of Osama bin Laden.

A “successful joint intelligence-sharing operation” between Yemen and the U.S. led to the attack that killed al-Awlaki, said a Yemeni official who wished to remain anonymous.

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The United States regarded al-Awlaki as a terrorist who posed a major threat to homeland security. Western intelligence officials believe al-Awlaki was a senior leader in the Arabian Peninsula, one of the most active Al Qaeda affiliates. It has been linked to an attempt to destroy an airliner over Detroit in December 2009 and a cargo plane plot in 2010.

Anwar al-Awlaki was killed about 5 miles from the Yemeni town of Khashef, east of the capital, Sanaa. The operation was launched at 9:55 a.m. local time.

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