US strike kills Charlotte native tied to al-Qaida

by: Mark Becker Updated:

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WASHINGTON,None —

Members of Charlotte's Muslim community said they tried, but could not turn a young Charlotte man away from his radical Islamic view.

Samir Khan, 24, was killed early Friday in a raid on a terrorist leader in Yemen. Khan had published an online magazine for al-Qaida that aimed at recruiting young terrorists.

People who knew him in Charlotte said they saw trouble coming and tried to steer him away from it.

"We met twice, I set up two interventions in my home and we tried to take him by the hand (and say), 'Look, you're going down the wrong path,'" Jibril Hough said Friday.

Hough heard about Khan's death from a radio reporter and said it was not entirely a surprise.

"I'm sorry that he has passed away, but I'm glad I didn't get the call that Samir was part of some terrorist act," Hough said.

Khan's parents still live in northeast Charlotte, but no one answered the door there Friday.

Khan had attended CPCC while he was in Charlotte but did not get a degree there.

The other al-Qaida leader that was killed Friday has been linked to terror plots. Anwar al-Awlaki was considered the most dangerous terrorist and perhaps even more immediate threat to the U.S. than Osama bin Laden was.

Al-Awlaki is the most high-profile al-Qaida figure to be killed since bin Laden's death in May.

President Barack Obama said the killing of al-Awlaki in Yemen "is a major blow to al-Qaida's most active operational affiliate."

Obama also said it "marks another significant milestone in the broader effort to defeat al-Qaida."