Al Qaeda's top spiritual leader Anwar al-Awlaki's killing in a drone strike in Yemen could provide motivation for anti-American attacks globally by those seeking to avenge his death, the State Department has said, issuing a worldwide travel alert for its citizens.
"The Department of State alerts US citizens to the potential for retaliation against US citizens and interests following the deaths of key figures in the terrorist group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula on September 30," it said in an official statement said.
The statement came on Saturday, a day after Awlaki, a US-Yemeni citizen who was external operations' leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), was killed in Yemen along with the outfit's propagandist Samir Khan.
The death of Awlaki, in the near term, could provide motivation for anti-American attacks worldwide from individuals or groups seeking to retaliate against US citizens or interests because of this action, the State Department said.
In the past, Awlaki and other members of AQPA have called for attacks against the United States and American citizens and interests, it said.
Awlaki's standing as a preeminent English-language advocate of violence could potentially trigger anti-American acts worldwide to avenge his death, the State Department said.