The White House on Saturday invoked the state secrets privilege to toss a lawsuit brought by civil liberties groups against an assassination plan against terrorists that would also target a U.S. citizen.
Anwar al-Awlaki, an alleged al-Qaeda regional commander born in New Mexico and reportedly hiding in Yemen, has been linked to the Fort Hood shootings and the attempt by a Nigerian man to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day. The cleric, author of "44 Ways to Support Jihad," also reportedly inspired the Times Square car bombing attempt in May, and placed a fatwa on Seattle Weekly cartoonist Molly Norris for suggesting a controversial "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day".
He's said to be on a U.S. list that approves death or capture of key terrorist suspects. The 39-year-old's placement on the list in April made him the first U.S. citizen to land on the CIA targeted kill list.