The U.S.-born radical cleric who's been ordered killed by President Obama has been given a chance at due process... in Yemen. Yesterday Yemen put Anwar al-Awlaki on trial in absentia, accusing him of colluding with another man, Hisham Assem, in the October 6th murder of a Frenchman at an oil firm's compound where he worked as a security guard. Prosecutors say Assem told interrogators that al-Awlaki "convinced him that foreigners are 'occupiers,' and sent him audiotapes with sermons justifying the killing of foreigners," the AP reports. Assem has denied all the charges and says he was tortured into giving false confessions.
U.S. investigators say e-mails link al-Awlaki to the Army psychiatrist accused of last year's killings at Fort Hood, Texas, and they also say he helped the would-be Christmas underwear bomber, and is connected to the failed Times Square bombing. He's believed to be hiding in a mountainous region of Yemen, protected by tribal religious leaders. Yemen has refused to turn him over to the U.S., but the move to put him in trial comes on the heels of the discovery of two mail bombs that originated in Yemen.
For more on al-Awlaki, check out any of the hundreds of YouTube videos featuring him calling for Jihad. (Rep. Anthony Weiner has been demanding that YouTube remove the videos; Google says it must rely on the community to moderate videos, because more than 20 hours of video is uploaded worldwide every minute.) In this video, Al-Awlaki alleges that Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan "bomb markets and kill Muslims, and then say it was the Mujahideen who perpetrated these bombings."