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Death of Anwar al-Aulaqi

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Hon. Kevin Rudd MP Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon. Robert McClelland MP Attorney-General

Attorney-General Media Release Page 1 of 1


Saturday, 1 October 2011


The Australian Government today welcomed a significant development in the fight against terrorism following the death of U.S.-born al-Qa’ida leader Anwar al-Aulaqi.

The Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said Anwar al-Aulaqi was known as the spiritual leader of al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula and was responsible for radicalising extremists worldwide, mainly through his lectures over the internet.

Anwar al-Aulaqi has also been directly linked to numerous acts of terrorism and plots.

“Yemen is becoming an important hub for al-Qa’ida associated terrorist activity, particularly as al-Qa’ida encounters mounting pressure in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq," Mr Rudd said.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland said Australian authorities will continue to work together with international partners to identify and mitigate threats, including by preventing Australians from travelling overseas to undertake terrorism-related activity.

“A number of Australians have been drawn to extremist figures in Yemen, including to Anwar al-Aulaqi,” said Mr McClelland

“While the news of his death represents a significant blow to al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula, it does not eliminate the ongoing terrorist threat.

“We need to realise that al-Qa’ida's ability to adapt and change its leadership endures.”

Media Contacts: Kate Sieper (Rudd) 0466 745 615

Ryan Liddell (McClelland) 0427 225 763