Al-Alwaki meets death from above


US-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Alwaki has been assassinated by a drone aircraft in Yemen. Fluent in English and American culture, educated at Colorado State and San Diego State, he has been instrumental in attracting the likes of Major Hasan and Mutallab, the underwear bomber, to terror activism.

The world is a better place without him, and his death has to make it harder to for Al Qaeda and company to recruit, and perhaps give pause to those who wish to move into leadership positions.

But it is worth noting that the United States government has killed a United States citizen without any judicial sanction, merely on an executive branch decision. A line has been crossed, and there are people on both the left and right side of the political spectrum who are given pause by the precedent and prospects for the future.  

I have no sympathy at all for Alwaki, and am glad the man is dead. But knowing that our president can order an American killed with no apparent checks and balances ought to give us all pause. We need to create a better legal framework for operations, one which respects our constitutional order, appropriate to the era of Islamic terror.

Alwaki's YouTube videos remain numerous and available (though YouTube has deleted videos which are found offensive to Islam by some Muslims). He openly preached a version of Islam that mocked the notion of a religion of peace, and was faithful to the literal meaning of Suras 9-14, the parts of the Koran that, when cited by a non-Muslim, lead to charges of Islamophobia.

Alwaki now rests with his 47 virgins, or raisins, or whatever. He can rot in hell. To jihadis, he is a martyr. May his entrails be eaten by wild pigs.