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Al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico in 1971, attended American universities, counseled at least two 9/11 hijackers in his role as a Muslim cleric, and communicated with and encouraged Maj. Malik Nadal Hassan, the American-born soldier who went on a shooting rampage at Ft. Hood last month, killing 13 military personnel, an unborn child, while wounding 30 others.
Al-Awlaki was on the most wanted list in Saudi Arabia. According to reports he was on the run in Yemen, meeting with Al Qaeda leadership there.