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U.S. issues travel alert after Awlaki death

Oct 1, 2011, 12:45 p.m.
Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric linked to al Qaeda's Yemen-based wing, gives a religious lecture in an unknown location in this still image taken from video released by Intelwire.com on September 30, 2011. REUTERS/Intelwire.com

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The State Department issued a worldwide travel alert on Saturday warning of the possibility of anti-American attacks in response to the killing of two top al Qaeda members.

The warning came a day after U.S. officials said Anwar al-Awlaki, identified as "chief of external operations" for al Qaeda's Yemen branch, was killed in an attack by missiles fired from multiple CIA drones in Yemen.

"The death of Awlaki, in the near term, could provide motivation for anti-American attacks worldwide from individuals or groups seeking to retaliate against U.S. citizens or interests because of this action," the State Department said.

The drone strike also killed Samir Khan, an American who served as editor of a glossy magazine used as a propaganda and recruitment tool by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

(Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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