Con Coughlin and Philip Sherwell
London Telegraph
May 2, 2010

Armed US drones have been deployed to target one of the world’s most wanted Islamist terrorists following reports that he was involved in last week’s failed suicide bomb attack against Britain’s ambassador to Yemen.

US President Barack Obama last month authorised the assassination of radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki after he was linked to last year’s Fort Hood massacre and the attempt in December to blow up a Detroit-bound jet by a man wearing explosives in his underpants.

Now senior US intelligence officials say they have stepped up their efforts to target al-Awlaki following new evidence that the American-born cleric is taking an increasingly operational role in the operation of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror group held responsible for the failed suicide bomb attack against Tim Torlot, 52, the UK envoy to Yemen.

Colleagues of Mr Torlot said yesterday that he had been “shaken” by last Monday’s attack, which took place as the ambassador’s heavily-armed motorcade was passing through a narrow section of road on the way to the embassy in the country’s capital, Sana’a.

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