Muslim cleric targeted by U.S. made little impression during Colorado years

A Muslim cleric turned terrorist leader – targeted for assassination by the U.S. government – is a Colorado State University graduate who honed his preaching skills in Colorado mosques.

Born in New Mexico, Anwar al-Awlaki arrived in Colorado in 1990 to study at CSU after spending more than 11 years in Yemen. He graduated in 1994, records show, with a degree in civil engineering.

He left little mark here — no achievements notable or infamous — and relatively few in Fort Collins or Denver remember him.

Those who did know al-Awlaki recall his emerging gift for oratory and persuasion. Some sensed the stirrings of radicalism in his speeches before he left in the mid-1990s, eventually returning to Yemen.

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