The reported killing of radical Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki by a U.S air strike in Yemen will be the first justice delivered for the casualties of the 2009 attack on Fort Hood, Texas, according to U.S. Representative John Carter (R-TX) who represents the Fort Hood area in Congress.
"If confirmed by our military, al-Awlaki's death is another powerful blow against Al-Qaeda terrorist strikes worldwide and especially here in America," says Carter. "Al-Awlaki was a prime instigator of the attack on our troops at Fort Hood, along with multiple other attempted terror attacks against America. His death represents a clear victory against the new Al-Qaeda strategy of radicalizing individuals and inspiring attacks from within our country. Coming on the heels of the killing of Osama bin Laden, we are demonstrating that Al-Qaeda cannot foment terror strikes from overseas and escape U.S. justice."
Carter says if initial reports are substantiated, the targeted U.S. military strike in Yemen against al-Awlaki makes the case that Congress needs to move immediately on further action for the mass casualties of the Fort Hood shooting. "The Fort Hood attack was a terror attack against U.S. military personnel coordinated internationally, as this strike admits. Now we need to grant our casualties the same recognition we granted our 9-11 Pentagon casualties."
Carter, Co-Chairman of the House Army Caucus, has pushed legislation since immediately after the strike on Fort Hood to recognize those killed and wounded as combat casualties for benefits purposes.
"Al-Awlaki's death is a first step," says Carter. "The conviction and punishment of the shooter will be another. But granting equal status for Fort Hood casualties with other U.S. military casualties of terror attacks is also needed to bring full justice for the victims and families impacted by the cowardly attacks instigated by Anwar al-Awlaki on his fellow Americans."