It is nothing new for U.S. forces to track down and capture or kill operatives in the al-Qaida terrorist network. After all, al-Qaida was behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on our country.
But there was something unusual about the United States' recent killing of two al-Qaida operatives in the Middle Eastern nation of Yemen: The terrorists were U.S. citizens who had turned their back on their country!
One of the men, Anwar al-Awlaki, was a radical Muslim cleric for al-Qaida. He was born in New Mexico and raised by parents who were originally from Yemen.
The other, Samir Khan, was of Pakistani heritage but grew up in New York and North Carolina. He ran an online, English-language magazine that tried to recruit terrorists and gave details on things such as how to make bombs.
Disgustingly, Khan's Web magazine "celebrated" the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America. Khan even declared himself "proud to be a traitor to America."
The sadly deserved deaths of al-Awlaki and Khan do not, of course, end the threat of al-Qaida. The terrorists will continue to target the United States and U.S. interests and allies around the world.
That makes it vital that the United States maintain full military readiness and intelligence capabilities. Our determination to protect our citizens at home and abroad should more than match the terrorists' determination to harm Americans.