I have a new article that I co-authored with a colleague and friend in the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University, Bruno-Olivier Bureau, an M.A. candidate who studies transnational Sunni militancy and the modern history of the Middle East. The article, "Death of an Ideologue," discusses the legacy of Anwar al-'Awlaqi (Anwar al-Awlaki, Anwar al-Aulaqi), the late American-Yemeni militant preacher who was killed in a U.S. drone missile strike in Yemen on September 30.
We discuss his place near or possibly in Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula as well as some of his key arguments and role in influencing some young Muslims in North America and Europe in radicalizing.
The introduction reads:
"The killing September 30 in Yemen of the militant American-Yemeni preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, arguably the most recognizable transnational jihadi figure beside Osama bin Laden, deprives the transnational Sunni jihadi movement represented by Al-Qaeda Central (AQC) of its premier ambassador to English speaking and reading audiences around the world. His killing also cuts short his further ascendance as one of the most promising members of Al-Qaeda's missionary vanguard of charismatic ideologues who harness their rhetorical flare and varying degrees of scholarly bona fides to further the goals of AQC and its sister groups. Using his gifts as a rhetorician, al-Awlaki fulfilled a key communicative role between Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which confirmed his death in a statement issued October 10, and the broader AQ movement and potential supporters. Al-Awlaki maneuvered himself into the position of being one of the transnational jihadi movement's key ideologues, the most effective missionary of its self-declared "jihad" among English-speaking audiences."
Read the rest at Foreign Policy's AFPAK Channel.