Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo), Member on the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence of the House Homeland Security Committee, released the following statement Friday after the U.S.-backed assassination of Al Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen:

“The killing of Anwar al-Awlaki is the latest victory in the United States and our allies' war on terrorism. Al-Awlaki was a key operative for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Qaeda's most dangerous affiliate, and his hateful rhetoric inspired countless attacks on innocent civilians worldwide. Al-Awlaki has been tied to the Fort Hood massacre, the Christmas Day attempted airplane bombing, and the October 2010 cargo plot, and his death makes the world a safer place and deals a major blow to Al Qaeda and the violent ideology that fuels acts of terrorism. His death is a tribute to the hard work of the men and women of the United States Intelligence Community and our allies, including the Yemeni government, and sends a signal to Al Qaeda and its affiliates that there are no safe havens to plot attacks against the U.S. with impunity. “

Speier, for her part, understands the dangers of terrorism firsthand. The congresswoman was part of a 1978 fact-finding mission to investigate human rights abuses by the Reverend Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple followers. Speier was one of several people shot during an ambush. Five people died, including Congressman Ryan, and Speier was plugged an astounding five times. She had to wait 22 hours before help arrived.