American-Born Cleric Added to Capture-or-Kill List, Called 'Terrorist No. 1'

Radical Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki

Radical Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki  (AP)

The radical Muslim cleric tied to suspects in both the Fort Hood shooting and failed Christmas Day bombing has become a key terror target, with a top member of Congress calling him "terrorist number one" and officials confirming he's been added to a list that would allow U.S. operatives to capture or kill him. 

Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., called Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen believed to be in Yemen, "terrorist number one" at an intelligence conference Tuesday. 

"He is very much in the sights of the Yemenis, with us helping them," said Harman, chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence.  

A U.S. government official told Fox News that al-Awlaki, wanted for his role with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was added to the capture-or-kill target list back in January. 

Reuters also reported Tuesday that the administration had added him to the list. "Awlaki is a proven threat," a U.S. official told the news service. 

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The cleric has been at the top of the U.S. intelligence radar screen for months. 

"He ends up being a person that is not only an adviser to the Fort Hood shooter, was in the plot to have the Nigerian Christmas bomber blow up the plane over Detroit, but has literally in the past several weeks, and this has been in the press, called for attacks against the United States," Harman said Tuesday. 

She was referring to alleged contact the imam had with Maj. Nidal Hasan before the shooting rampage that left 13 dead at Fort Hood in Texas, and with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab before the failed attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas last year. 

The cleric could be heard acknowledging a relationship with Hasan in a recently released audiotape obtained by Fox News.

In the tape, he also mocked President Obama and praised Abdulmutallab.