No Confirmation On Reports Strike Killed Cleric Linked To Fort Hood Suspect

A quick update on a story developing out of Yemen. As the Associated Press writes:

Yemen's military hit suspected al-Qaida hideouts Thursday and targeted a gathering of top militant leaders, possibly killing a radical cleric linked to the U.S. Army major accused of the Fort Hood mass shooting, in strikes carried out with U.S. intelligence help, officials said.

At least 30 militants were believed to be killed in the second such strike in a week. Pentagon officials could not confirm Thursday whether U.S.-born radical cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki was killed in the strike.

The Washington Post, though, reports that "U.S. officials" believe al-Awlaki "was probably killed in the assault, as were two al-Qaida leaders, according to a senior Obama administration official."

It could be several days, however, before the dead are positively identified, according to the Post.

As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston previously reported, Army Maj. Nidal Hasan — who's been charged with 13 counts of murder for the Fort Hood shootings — "sent 18 e-mails" to al-Awlaki before the Nov. 5 rampage.

There have been reports that al-Awlaki claimed Hasan asked him for advice on about killing soldiers.



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