The U.S. Defense Department has declined to comment on reports saying an American drone missile attack in Yemen targeted -- but failed to kill -- one of Al-Qaeda's most influential figures.
The strike on May 5 in the southern Yemen province of Shabwa is reported to have targeted the U.S.-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, the head of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Yemeni officials have said the strike missed al-Awlaki, but killed two brothers who were believed to have been Al-Qaeda militants.
Al-Awlaki is suspected of playing a role in inspiring recent attacks by Islamists, including the Fort Hood, Texas, shootings in November 2009 that killed 13 people, and the failed attempt to bomb an airliner over Detroit in December 2009.
The attack in Yemen came just days after Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan on May 2 in a raid by U.S. commandos.
compiled from agency reports