Anwar al-Awlaki’s Violent Legacy Continues Years After His Death

Sermons and lectures ubiquitous and accessible on YouTube

(New York, NY) – The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) is highlighting Anwar al-Awlaki’s Violent Legacy in a collection of resources on the U.S.-born cleric who has for years served as a radicalizing figure for U.S. and European extremists. Awlaki, the leader of external operations for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), was targeted and killed by a U.S. drone strike on September 30, 2011. In announcing his death, President Barak Obama said Awlaki “took the lead in planning and directing efforts to murder innocent Americans.”

Yet, six years later, Awlaki continues to radicalize and inspire Westerners to terror, due to the ongoing presence and availability of his lectures online, including on YouTube. As of August 30, 2017, a search for Anwar al-Awlaki on YouTube yielded more than 70,000 results, including his most incendiary lectures. CEP has documented nearly 90 extremists in the U.S. and Europe with ties to Awlaki, including Cherif Kouachi, who carried out the Charlie Hebdo attacks; Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people in Orlando; Ohio State car attacker Abdul Razak Ali Artan; Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev; and many others. 

To learn more about Anwar al-Awlaki’s Violent Legacy, please click here.

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Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On May 8, 2019, Taliban insurgents detonated an explosive-laden vehicle and then broke into American NGO Counterpart International’s offices in Kabul. At least seven people were killed and 24 were injured.

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