"I actually consider Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula with al-Awlaki as a leader within that organisation probably the most significant risk to the US homeland," National Counterterrorism Centre head Michael Leiter told the committee.(Note: for some reason this is from as Australian news feed, which explains the wildly anti-American spelling of center.)
I am actually pretty happy he said that al-Awlaki is just "a leader", rather than "the leader", although in his prepared statement Leiter only highlighted al-Awlaki when talking about the group, saying:
Anwar al‐Aulaqi, a dual U.S.‐Yemeni citizen and a leader within AQAP, played a significant role in the attempted airliner attack and was designated in July as a specially designated global terrorist under E.O. 13224 by the US Government and the UN’s 1267 al‐Qa’ida and Taliban Sanctions Committee. Al‐Aulaqi’s familiarity with the West and his operational role in AQAP remain key concerns for us.As anyone who reads this blog, and really anyone who doesn't, knows, this is: crazy. There are so many more people in AQAP who are a much greater threat than al-Awlaki. I am pretty glad about the rest of what I have read, and plan to do a semi-live blog tomorrow (I was busy today). I think it looks like the admin knows that the franchises are increasing in importance. But whether it is pandering or ignorance, our bloody-minded fixation on the one guy who speaks English might be our biggest stumbling block in establishing a decent and sustainable policy in Yemen.