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Anwar Awlaki


Theo Padnos in the LRB of 28 January 2010 on Anwar Awlaki, a ‘prime suspect’ in the cargo plane bomb plot and the only US citizen known to be on the CIA’s assassination list:

Awlaki is not a firebrand, his sermonising is not especially original and slightly stuffy – not ‘silver-tongued’, or seductive. Yet he inspires passionate responses from a band of devout, very ready-to-be-deployed young men (they are men) from all over the world. Many of them say they can’t speak Arabic. Many others are still having trouble with English grammar. But it seems they’re ready to pick up sticks, to move to Yemen, to join Awlaki ‘on any front’, and to plunge into the study of the early medieval Arabic in which the Quran was written.

To understand the origins of the fans’ enthusiasm, one has to begin with the hero’s life: it’s the life – not the writing – that resonates.

Comments on “Anwar Awlaki”

  1. Geoff Roberts says:

    Could this have anything to do with those two ‘devices’ that our ever-watchful security services found two days ago? I’d like to read the article from January but it’s marked up ‘for subscribers only’ – or are you trawling for subscriptions to the magazine? Surely not.
    The whole incident ‘sure smells funny’ to misquote Zappa. Maybe because I’m a Le Carre bore that this all sounds like a western set-up to ‘justify’ a few drones into Yemen and maybe an invasion on a small scale – something smart and catchy to win over a few votes … no? Oh well.

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