Online preachers of hate: Anwar al-Awlaki,’bin Laden of the internet’

Anwar al-Awlaki has become one of the greatest enemies of British intelligence organisations in the fight against terrorists being groomed online. Photo: REUTERS

Anwar al-Awlaki has become one of the greatest enemies of British intelligence organisations in the fight against terrorists being groomed online

7:30AM BST 07 Jun 2011

Operating from Yemen, the US-born Islamic preacher has been dubbed the ‘bin Laden of the internet’ having been linked to numerous extremists charged with terrorism offences in Britain and elsewhere.

He has lived in Britain and America, speaks to his followers in impeccable English over the internet and is one of the key figures of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP).

Awlaki gave advice to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the suspected Detroit bomber, who tried to blow himself up using a device in his underpants on Christmas Day 2009.

US security sources have reportedly said there is “concrete evidence” that Awlaki recruited Abdulmutallab, who lived in Britain while studying at University College London.

Material gathered at UK properties linked to Abdulmutallab – who is being held in the US on terrorism charges – allegedly suggests he was an avid follower of Awlaki’s blog and website.

Most recently, Awlaki has been linked to Rajib Karim, the former British Airways graduate trainee, who planned to smuggle a bomb onto a transatlantic flight. Continue reading