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Yemen’s Defense Ministry has announced that Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born Islamist cleric linked to al-Qaida in Yemen, whose sermons were cited as inspiration in the Fort Hood shooting and the Christmas Day airplane bomb attempt, has been killed, the Reuters news agency reported early Friday.

Al-Awlaki’s targeted killing was approved by President Barack Obama, with the consent of the U.S. National Security Council, making him the first U.S. citizen ever placed on the CIA target list, according to media reports last year.

His followers are said to have included 9/11 attackers, with whom he has alleged to have met in San Diego before the attack.

His sermons were also attended by accused Fort Hood shooter Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. U.S. intelligence intercepted at least 18 emails between Hasan and al-Awlaki in the months prior to the shooting, including one in which Hasan wrote: “I can’t wait to join you [in the afterlife],” according to a report in The Washington Post.

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