NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The man dubbed the “boss of all bosses” for the terror group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is dead.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb with Ray Kelly

American-born Anwar al-Awlaki, who eclipsed Osama bin Laden as the greatest threat to American security,”was targeted and killed” in Yemen, the nation’s foreign ministry said. Al-Awlaki’s henchman, Samir Khan, was also killed.

While Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the killing of Al-Awlaki and Khan will make the country and city safer, he said in a statement that Khan had followers in the U.S, including New York City, and “for that reason we remain alert to the possibility that someone might want to avenge his death.”

Kelly said Khan had extensive contacts in New York City and published the English language Inspire Magazine, which instructed lone wolves on how to build bombs at home, and in the most recent issue identified Grand Central Station as a target.

Kelly said Al-Awlaki was focused like no other on attacking the U.S. and Khan legitimized attacking women and children.

It is worth noting that previous reports of Al-Awlaki’s death have proved false.

This time, though, an Obama administration official told CBS News the U.S. government has “high confidence” the terror mastermind is dead, and Yemen’s report is accurate.

President Barack Obama spoke about al-Awlaki’s death.

“The death of al-Awlaki is a major blow to Al Qaeda’s most operational affiliate,” Obama said. “He repeatedly called on individuals in the United States and around the globe to kill innocent civilians.”

“Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula remains a dangerous, but weakened, organization,” Obama said.

Rep. Peter King, chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, said this was hugely important moment in the war on terror.

“This is great news,” King told 1010 WINS. “I can not tell you how important it is that we killed al-Awlaki. For the last several years, he had been more of a threat than Osama bin Laden had been.”

But why?

“He’s American-born. He has a strong following here in the United States. He was the most aggressive Al Qaeda leader in attempting to attack the United States. He wanted to bring the war to the United States even more than bin Laden did,” King said.

“This was an evil man who had a large following,” King said. “He’s very sophisticated. He is without a doubt the most prominent American terrorist we’ve ever had.”

Al-Awlaki is believed to have been the driving force behind the attempted Times Square bombing, the Fort Hood massacre and the Christmas Day 2009 attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines fight by a man with a bomb in his underwear.

Al-Awlaki was a radical Islamic preacher who rose to prominence in Al Qaeda franchise in Yemen. He was born in New Mexico.

American officials considered him on the most-wanted terror suspects, and his name was added to the kill or capture list, a rare American addition to that list.

Al-Arabiya television reported al-Awlaki was killed in a drone strike on a convoy which apparently was carrying him and his guards.

“I give the president credit. I give the CIA credit. He was an American citizen but he was targeted for assassination, and it was absolutely appropriate,” King said.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

AQAP has been considered the most active branch of the terror group in plotting attacks on the U.S. homeland in recent years. Ft. Hood shooter Nidal Hassan was in direct email contact with al-Awlaki before carrying out his attack. Al-Awlaki also reportedly met directly with Umar Farouk Adbulmutallab, the 19-year-old Nigerian who tried to blow up a flight to Detroit via a bomb stuffed in his underwear .

“There’s no doubt about it, it knocks Al Qaeda back,” King said. “It’s a significant blow to them. The war’s not over, I don’t mean that, but this is a tremendous step in the right direction for us.”

King urged the administration to step up its efforts on the heels of al-Awlaki’s death.

“This is the type of thing that when it occurs, we have to step up our activities even more now, because they are weak, they are confused,” King said. “It shows that America is united, and that we have to stay on offense. We are going after them, we have to stay after them. This is the way to win it: By letting them know there’s no place they can hide. There’s no place they can go. We will get them.”

What do you make of the news? Sound off in our comments section.

Comments (24)
  1. hungover at work says:

    that two headed cat is wild lookin! I’d adopt him(or her) and love it just like any other sigle headed cat…..not kidding. Religion is extremely stupid by the way.

  2. michaelfury says:

    “Kelly said Khan had extensive contacts in New York City and published the English language Inspire Magazine, which instructed lone wolves on how to build bombs at home”

    Was this some of Khan’s C-4, Commissioner?

  3. jay Pee says:

    I wonder how the cops can stay alert when they have those jerks in Zuccoti park?

    Who gave them the permits?

    In the heart of the financial center across from the WT site they allow protestors. One of those freaks could be a terrorist how would the cops know in all that ridiculous commotion?

    Hey police disband those wacks for our safety downtown.

  4. mary Smith says:!!!! Support breast cancer – hope for a cure in every bag of Pink Potato Chips – check it out!!!!

  5. Rodin says:

    (a bllad for today)
    from “Viewers Like You”
    lyrics and muic by Chris Yates

    The world is spinning faster every day
    and no one knows what’s going on.
    The vision’s creeping round the corner,
    then you blink your eyes and it’s all gone.

    I do my best to pay attention,
    try to follow who keeps track.
    Hard to know what’s right from wrong
    when you can’t tell the fiction from the fact.

    Hard to get good information.
    you have to work to see things clear.
    Don’t know who you can believe in,
    can’t trust a thing that you really don’t hear.

    There’s only one thing I can count on
    every night on my TV.
    I don’t ever have to doubt it.
    It’s always clear and plain to see.

    When I come walking through my front door tonight
    and I sit down to watch the news,
    I’m gonna see Jews killing Muslims killing Christians,
    Christians killing Muslims killing Jews.

    Oh, the blood is running red out in the desert
    But we don’t have to sift the sands for clues.
    It’s just Jews killing Muslims killing Christians,
    Christians killing Muslims killing Jews.

    C’mon, Abraham, Jesus and Muhammad,
    let’s all get together and sing the blues
    gonna watch them Jews killing Muslims killing Christians
    Christians killing Muslims killing Jews.

    1. Heywood Yacroak says:

      Why don’t you just shut the f up.

      1. Rodin says:

        Why don’t you say something intelligent?


  6. Schmellma Arss says:

    Now he’ll be eating pepperoni and provolone hoagies with osama and allah.

  7. niklu says:

    Who’s next on the list?

  8. JOSE says:


  9. pennylane says:

    Quite convenient considering the polls have obama circling the drain…

    now he can ride this wave for a bit….

  10. michaelfury says:

    “American-born” = US citizen

    So when do they take out the Jonas Brothers?

  11. Rodin says:

    It’s clear the brainiacs have arrived. All’s well.

  12. pugphan says:

    Yo Muslims- we are “Not!” against Alla, God, but we are most def against your bogus religion. Mohan was not a prophet, he made no prophecies and performed no miracles. WAKE UP! smokersodysseycom He was also an alduterer.

  13. Peter says:

    what comes around goes around !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. bullett says:

    As Forrest would say; “one less thing to worry about”.

  15. Rodin says:

    Whatever the faith, one less religious bigot.


  16. DanTe says:

    FACT: Everywhere where there are mu-slimes, sh-!t happens.

    China — sh-!t happens
    (suicide bombers that kill little children and run amok with metal pipes in the streets)

    India — sh-!t happens
    (mu-slimes burned 100s of Hindus alive in packed trains and burned villagers alive while they slept)

    Middle East — sh-!t happens
    (suicide bombers that kill little children)

    Russia — sh-!t happens
    (suicide bombers that kill women and children in crowded theaters)

    South East Asia — sh-!t happens
    (muslime thugs who kidnap teachers, school children, nurses, priests for ransom, than murder them all)

    Europe — sh-!t happens
    (suicide bombers that kill little children)

    USA — 9/11 happened

    Notice the pattern here? Even you sanctimonious twits can’t be that dense.

    Goes to reason, no mu-slimes, no sh-!t.
    All these camel turds understand is violence and lies anyway. I say we oblige them by killing them all and then lie about how sorry we are.

    Islam. It’s a disease. And like any other infestations of boils, pox and pestilence, it should be eradicated. You don’t talk to diseases. You eradicate them like you did polio and small pox.

    And some bleeding heart imbecile here will write that it’s just a few “radical” individuals that are murderous, just like any other society. But then conveniently forgetting about the Fact that it happens worldwide and by a LOT MORE than just a few individuals. And they also continues to blank out of their empty heads the worldwide muslime jubilee celebrations as people burned on 9/11.

  17. Mr. Clean says:

    How was he able to wash his hair with that towel permanently glued to his head?

  18. bobby lupo says:

    kill em’ all….

    1. Joe Schmo says:

      Bobby, you Italian?

      People can say what they want about mafia and such, but Italians have to be the most patriotic of any ethnic group in this country. They even mostly came here after this country was already founded by the English, French, Dutch, Germans, and Spanish. But they wanted to be American and learn the PROPER language (English). Certainly not the case with immigrants anymore.

      One great example is when Osama Bin Laden was “killed”. When it was announced during the Mets-Phillies game in Philadelphia, the heavily-Italian crowd there chanted “USA USA USA USA” ….If that game was here in NY, no way that happens with that more ethnic-mixed, liberal crowd. Probably some cheers, but that’s about it.

      1. Danny says:

        Did you see the videos of all of the people in Times Square? Did you notice how everybody was cheering USA? Do you just really hate NYC, or do you open your mouth without thinking often?

  19. Joe Schmo says:

    Yeah sure he’s dead. And Osama Bin Laden is dead, Elvis is still alive, Marilyn Monroe committed suicide, and the Pittsburgh Pirates will win the world series next year. SURE.

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