YouTube has removed a number of videos from its site featuring Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical cleric credited with recruiting extremists to commit acts of violence against the West. Awlaki, who is an American citizen born in New Mexico, is based out of Yemen and affiliated with Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. YouTube acted after American and British officials pressed for the videos to be removed.
This development comes after several unsettling events in the last two weeks. First, two bombs hidden in cargo planes were intercepted en route from Yemen to Chicago last week. Meanwhile, yesterday in Britain, a young woman who admitted to watching hundreds of hours of Awlaki videos was sentenced to life in prison after attempting to murder a politician last year. Also, Prime Minister David Cameron revealed that the British government is in custody of a Yemeni Qaida member who was caught during an undisclosed bomb plot earlier this year.
John Burns, London bureau chief of The New York Times, reports on the latest.