June 30, 2011

Academic Paper: Let's Kill Samir Khan & Anwar al Awlaki!

It's about time we academic meatheads put our noggins to good use. We all know we've been itching to kill the American born traitor and leader of al Qaeda in Yemen, Anwar al Awlaki. But this paper by Frank J. Cilluffo and Clinton Watts of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at GWU seems to suggest that maybe it's time we kill Samir Khan, too:

For the U.S., AQAP’s Foreign Operations Unit is of greatest concern... Awlaki’s online sermons, recruitment of U.S.-based Americans and production of AQAP’s English-language jihadi magazine Inspire with Samir Khan (another American AQAP member) have inspired lone wolf attacks on Americans. Ibrahim Hassan Asiri, AQAP’s talented bomb maker, transforms the Foreign Operations Unit’s threats into sophisticated attacks... The Foreign Operations Unit’s special knowledge of the U.S. and unique destructive capabilities make AQAP an immediate threat to the U.S.....

Elimination of key AQAP members, especially those in the Foreign Operations Unit, would immediately increase U.S. security. Removal of Wahayshi, al-Shihri, Awlaki, Asiri or any other key AQAP leaders could short-circuit AQAP’s operational capability and disrupt their regional coordination of AQ efforts. As Dr. Hegghammer noted, “AQ in Yemen is short on this type of human capital,” suggesting targeted leadership decapitation would seriously weaken AQAP’s proven international terrorism capability.”

Given that Samir Khan is listed along with Awlaki and Asiri in the paper's discussion of the leadership of AQAP's Foreign Operations Unit, I don't think it's a giant leap to infer that the authors are suggesting that he too would be not only a legitimate target but that his death would make us safer.

And as an academic myself let me also suggest that if we are only just now getting around to discussing this openly then people with predator drones and bombs have already come to the same conclusion.

Psssst, Abu Risaas: keep your head down.

Thanks to Waq al-Waq.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:36 PM | Comments |