Last week, the State Department called the family of slain al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula propagandist Samir Khan twice to offer their condolences, a spokeswoman for the department said today.
Khan, a U.S. citizen, was killed in the same CIA airstrike in Yemen on Sept. 30 that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, another U.S. citizen and the alleged inspiration for recent terror attempts on the United States.
A U.S. consular official, in keeping with standard practice when an American is killed abroad, phoned Khan’s next of kin “to express our sympathy with the family,” spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
“This was an effort to reach out to the family of an American citizen and see if any further assistance was required of us,” she said, adding that no request was made.
Nuland said there have been no calls to Awlaki’s family because they are all Yemeni and live in Yemen.
The first call was made on Monday to Khan’s uncle after he was appointed by the family as his next of kin. A second call was made to Khan’s father last Thursday, also expressing condolences. The calls were first reported by the Charlotte Observer, quoting Khan’s family.
Nuland said the delay in calling the family was caused by efforts to identify next of kin. She said she was unaware there was any discussion on the calls about how Khan was killed.
The 25-year-old Khan was born in Saudi Arabia to a Pakistani family and later lived in the United States with his parents. He grew up in New York and then moved to North Carolina, where he began writing a pro-al Qaeda blog. He later traveled to Yemen, where he began publishing the al Qaeda magazine “Inspire,” which encouraged terror attacks on the West.