Beijing, Oct 1(ANI): US-born radical Islamic cleric and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a CIA drone attack in a remote Yemeni town on Friday, had a little bit of the mix of personality traits that Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden also had, a US security expert has said.
Michael O'Hanlon, a security expert with the Brookings Institution, said that the 40-year-old had some traits of operational genius and some level of charismatic appeal to many followers around the world.
"Awlaki was perhaps the most important inspiration for Major Nidal Malik Hassan and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab among other known and suspected terrorists," O'Hanlon told Xinhua in an interview.
Hassan was an American officer who killed 13 other Americans in November 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas, while Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian, had attempted to blow up a US airliner over Detroit on the Christmas Day of 2009.
"He certainly was very capable of inspiring low to medium level of attacks, including by Americans on American soil, which has become the greater concern in the last couple of years," O'Hanlon said.
Awlaki had become a prominent figure in the Al-Qaeda network, using his ability to speak fluent English and Internet savvy skills to draw recruits for attacks in the United States.
He was killed in a CIA air strike which hit two vehicles in Marib province on Friday.
The 40-year-old's targeted killing was approved by US President Barack Obama, with the consent of the US National Security Council in April 2010, making him the first US citizen ever placed on the CIA target list. (ANI)