Anwar al-Awlaki



East County News Service

Photo: Muhammad ud-Deen, creative commons

January 10, 2015 (La Mesa) –Anwar al-Awlaki, a former cleric at a mosque on the La Mesa-San Diego boundary and ex-student at San Diego State may have inspired the jihadist brothers who massacred 12 people at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.  Awlaki was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in September 2011 and was believed by U.S. authorities to have been a terrorist mastermind tied to the 9/11 attacks and many other terror plots around the world.

Cherif Kouachi , one of two brothers who reportedly gunned down journalists at Charlie Hebdo, was later killed by police following a massive manhunt in Paris. Before he died, Koachi told BFM-TV, “I was sent, me, Cherif Koachi, by Al Qaeda of Yemen. I went over there and it was Anwar al Awlaki who financed me.” Reuters reports that the statement was recorded and aired on French television.