YouTube removing videos of US-born radical Yemen-based cleric al Awlaki

November 4th, 2010 - 12:30 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Nov 3 (ANI): YouTube has reportedly started removing hundreds of videos of Anwar al Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric based in Yemen who has been linked to several terrorist plots against the US and the UK, under the instructions of American and British authorities.

According to the Telegraph, US and British officials have been pressuring the website to take down the videos, fearing that al Awlaki’s internet preaching radicalises Muslims.

“Hundreds of al-Awlaki videos are currently available on YouTube, with a combined total of over 3.5 million views. In these videos, al-Awlaki preaches violence against Americans and actions back up his online message,” New York Representative Anthony Weiner said in an open letter sent last week to YouTube CEO Chad Hurley.

Last week, the UK’s security minister Baroness Neville-Jones called on the Obama’s administration to “take down this hateful material” in cases where servers were based in the US, the paper said.

Referring to al Awlaki’s videos, Jones said websites that “incite cold-blooded murder” would “categorically not be allowed in the UK.”

Officials in the UK have been reportedly increasing the pressure on YouTube after a 21-year-old student, Roshonara Choudhry, stabbed and nearly killed a Member of Parliament, Stephen Timms in May after being allegedly radicalized by watching al Awlaki’s sermons on the website. She was handed a life sentence on Wednesday. (ANI)

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