Al-Awlaki Prosecuted Successfully in a Civilian Court?

By Robert Chesney
Monday, January 17, 2011, 12:09 PM

Well, yes, in Yemen, in absentia.  According to al-Jazeera, the government of Yemen indicted al-Awlaki and his cousin (Othman al-Awlaki) for inciting another man--Hisham Mohammed Assem--to carry out an attack on westerners at an oil facility where Assem worked as a security guard.  Assem was the only one of the three in custody.  He was convicted of murdering a French national, and received the death penalty.  Anwar and Othman al-Awlaki received 10 and 8 year sentences.  None of this suggests that an actual arrest of Anwar al-Awlaki is any more likely, of course.

Meanwhile, al-Awlaki has an article in the latest issue of AQAP's Inspire magazine.  The International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence (ICSR) has a very handy summary here.  Al-Awlaki's piece is primarily an argument for the propriety of stealing money from western targets in order to fund the jihad, based on the notion that the West is waging war on Islam, that voters in the West collectively bear responsibility for this, and so forth.