Relatives say he was not killed in the strike. Awlaki, a former imam at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Va., has been linked to a series of terror plots and is considered an inspiration to Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan.
Reports about the failed attempt to bomb a Northwest Airlines flight Christmas Day indicate investigators may be looking for a connection to Awlaki in that plot, too. A new report says evidence shows alleged bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is a "big fan" of Awlaki's.
The Northwest plot has increased attention on the strength of Al Qaeda and other terrorist movements in Yemen. It could mean that last week's strike won't be the only time Awlaki's name appears on a list of possible targets.