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This October 2008, file photo shows Imam Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. Al-Awlaki was born in 1971, in New Mexico where his father was studying agriculture as a Fulbright scholar. The son was educated in the United States but left in 2002, eventually returning to Yemen where he became a key figure in the local al-Qaida branch, which U.S. authorities believed was the most dangerous of the al-Qaida franchises. Al-Awlaki's fluent English and articulate speaking style won him a huge following among disaffected young Muslims in the West. He and another American, Samir Khan, who edited al-Qaida's Internet magazine, were killed in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen on Sept. 30, 2011.

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