On the heels of the announcement of the "removal" of another terrorist leader, the US has curiously given him a newer, more elevated title after he was taken out by a drone airstrike.

Anwar al-Aulqai, a New Mexican born 'cleric' centered in Yemen, has now been labled as "chief of external operations" for Al-Queda in Yemen.   However, several experts in Yemen question his role in actual operations that potentially threatened the United States.  US intelligence first noticed him a few years ago largely because of his internet sermons and dissertations delivered in perfect English;  US officials were concerned because English speaking terrorists tend to be far more effective in recruiting sympathizers from the West.   According to US intelligence al-Aulaqi was insturmental in the aborted 2009 Christmas airliner bombing where the terrorist failed to detonate the now famous underwear bomb on an aircraft.  Some critics claim the elevation of al-Aulaqi to a more important status justifies the drone strike.  However, counter-terrorism experts say the number one source of spreading terrorist propoganda and recruitment in English (and thereby very dangerous) has been eliminated.  US officials acknowledge that while his elimination was important, it is not of the same level as when Osama bin-Laden was taken out.