NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The State Department is warning the public that supporters of the American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki may try to retaliate following Friday’s military strike that killed the al-Qaeda recruiter and propagandist.

Originally from New Mexico he became leader of external operations for al-Qaeda, linked to the Fort Hood shootings and the failed underwear bombing on Christmas day in 2009.

“He was the pied piper of al-Qaeda drawing western recruits, trying to inspire Americans and others to attack fellow citizens,” said Juan Zarate, national security analyst.

Some Civil Liberties Activists raising concerns about a strike targeting an American, but former Vice President Dick Cheney said the Obama administration reacted decisively and correctly.

“I think the president ought to have that kind of authority to order that kind of strike, even when it involves an American citizen when there is clear evidence that he’s part of al-Qaeda,” Cheney said.

“He was the part of al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula that motivated them and enabled them to go after the far enemy, that’s us. And so in that sense his death makes America much more safe,” said Michael Hayden, former CIA Director General.

At Newark Liberty International Airport travelers to Rome were aware of the threat and glad for the warning.

“I think anybody who is traveling would rather be safe and cautions rather than ignore things because we all want to make sure we are safe,” said traveler Kerri Lynn Begasse.

“I trust our security and their security over there and we feel very comfortable traveling,” said traveler John Kirk.

Friday’s attack also killed American Samir Khan. He was a chief propagandist publishing an online jihadist newsletter.

A top Yemeni official said contrary to some earlier reports, al-Qaeda’s chief bomb maker Ibrahim al-Asiri was not killed in Friday’s drone strike.

How serious do you take this travel warning? Sound off in our comments section below…

Comments (6)
  1. KEVIN says:

    Kind of looked like a jew.

    1. Joe Schmo says:

      A constipated one at that.

  2. Andrew Nutra says:

    I don’t get it. So before he was killed Americans weren’t being targeted? That we were safe and sound from terrorists?

  3. Charles Donaldson says:

    It would have been better to capture him and bring him to t he USA for trial. That is the rule of law.

    This way we acted like a terrorist group. Further, he dies as a martyr and 10 more rise out of his blood to take his place. Did you notice the travel advisory? I do not get the feeling this will hurt al-Qaeda. This man was a preacher, recruiter and propagandist. His death means he will continue propagandizing from the grave. Vengeance just begets revenge. Capture the jerk and try him.

  4. Nick says:

    Like the Islamic disease have to have a special reason to kill people anyway.

  5. Buttbisquit says:

    It doesn’t matter if you travel or not. The warning is for anywhere in the world so why trigger even more fear for travelers?

    This is for life..get used to it.

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