Yemeni cleric wants U.S. civilians dead   2010-05-24 11:23:47

BEIJING, May 24 (Xinhuanet)– A U.S.-born cleric, who is hiding in Yemen and has been added to the CIA’s list of targets for assassination, called for the killing of U.S. civilians in an Al Qaeda video released Sunday.

Dressed in a white Yemeni robe in the 45-minute video, Anwar Al-Awlaki justified the civilian deaths by accusing the United States of intentionally killing one million Muslim civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

American civilians are to blame, he said, because "the American people, in general, are taking part in this and they elected this administration and they are financing the war."

Al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico and is believed to be hiding in his parents’ native Yemen.

U.S. intelligence has linked Al-Awlaki to the 9/11 hijackers, the suspects in the November shooting at an Army base in Fort Hood, Texas, and the December attempt to blow up a U.S. jetliner bound for Detroit.

Emerging as a jprominent al-Qaida recruiter, Al-Awlaki is a top concern of CIA as he is one of the few English-speaking radical clerics able to explain to young Muslims in America and other Western countries the philosophy of violent jihad.

The U.S. placed him on the CIA’s list of targets for assassination and is actively trying to find him.