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State Department calls family of American killed in drone strike

By Jamie Crawford, CNN National Security Producer
updated 3:42 PM EDT, Thu October 13, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The call to the family of Samir Khan was made October 6, a State Department official says
  • No details of the call were made public
  • Khan was killed with another American-born member of an al Qaeda affiliate

Washington (CNN) -- The State Department has called the family of Samir Khan, the American killed September 30 alongside Anwar al-Awlaki in a drone strike in Yemen, an official says.

Khan was the propagandist for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

A call was made to Khan's family October 6, said Harry Edwards, a press officer at the State Department. Edwards declined to elaborate on either the tenor or the specifics of the call.

Khan, an American citizen from North Carolina who had been living in Yemen, was known for railing against "Washington's imperialism" in the English-language al Qaeda magazine known as Inspire. He once penned an article titled, "I Am Proud to Be a Traitor to America."

Jibril Hough, a spokesman for the Khan family, told CNN the family was "receptive" to the call, but declined to provide any specifics of what was discussed.

The call from the State Department followed a campaign by supporters of the Khan family in Charlotte questioning why no representatives of the U.S. government had called following the death of the two Americans overseas. Al-Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico, had lived elsewhere in the United States at various points in his life.

Despite the call, Hough told CNN the Khan family still has "serious questions" surrounding the operation in which Khan and al-Awlaki were killed.

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