U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15), a member of the House Committee Homeland Security, today introduced a resolution calling on the Obama Administration to begin the necessary steps to strip radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki of his American citizenship.  Rep. Dent argues that al-Awlaki voluntarily renounced his citizenship by recruiting terrorists to engage in violent acts of terrorism against United States and by advocating the violent overthrow of the American government. 

In sharp contrast to the peaceful teachings of Islam practiced around the world by more than a billion devout Muslims, Anwar al-Awlaki instead preaches that a “culture of martyrdom needs to be revived because the enemy of Allah fears nothing more than our love of death,” and ‘‘it is necessary for you to join a group that has Jihad as its main objective.” 

Anwar al-Awlaki is a dual American and Yemeni citizen, and his radical beliefs have resulted in brutal killings.  As a functioning member of al Qaeda since before 9/11, al-Awlaki counseled and contacted several terrorists, including the 9/11 hijackers; Major Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 people and wounded 30 others in cold blood at Fort Hood, Texas; and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian national who attempted to detonate a bomb on Northwest Airlines flight 253 as it landed in Detroit, Michigan.

Congressman Dent has called for a pragmatic recognition that al-Awlaki’s service to al Qaeda and spread of violence radicalism has consequences. 

“As recent reports highlight, the U.S. government views al-Awlaki as a proven threat, and will take him dead or alive,” Congressman Dent said.  “Being a citizen of the United States of America is more than a right; it’s a responsibility.  By his own actions, al-Awlaki has voluntarily surrendered his citizenship, and we should take the necessary steps to acknowledge that.  Further should al-Awlaki be captured, his rights should be limited to those of an alien held abroad in military detention.”