Earlier today, the U.S.-born al Qaeda leader and terrorist recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in Yemen by a missile fired from an American drone aircraft. In the wake of the death of al-Awalki, the first time since the Sept. 11 attacks that an American citizen had been deliberately targeted and killed by American forces, Ron Paul is not happy: "If the American people accept this blindly and casually that we now have an accepted practice of the President assassinating people who he thinks are bad guys, I think it's sad."
Paul criticized President Obama for ordering the missile strike against al-Awlaki without a trial, adding "I don't think it's a good way to deal with our problems." The Council on American Islamic Relations also had mixed feelings about the strike: "While a voice of hate has been eliminated, we urge our nation's leaders to address the constitutional issues raised by the assassination of American citizens without due process of law."
On the other hand, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly praised Obama for his decisive move: "The death of Anwar al-Awlaki is a welcome, signature event. Having transformed the regional al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula into a terrorist organization with global reach, he targeted Americans like no other, and he was a powerful recruiter of terrorists in the United States." In addition, Rep. Peter King, the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, was practically giddy, saying it was a "great success in our fight against Al Qaeda."
Kelly also said that NYC police are on alert to possible revenge attacks: "We know al-Awlaki had followers in the United States including New York City, and for that reason we remain alert to the possibility that someone might want to avenge his death," he told reporters today.