Some U.S. intelligence officials believe al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is now the world's most influential Islamic terrorist, surpassing even Osama bin Laden.

In recent months, al-Alwaki's jihadi "street cred" has risen to new levels.

He exchanged e-mails with Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hassan and mentored Christmas Day "underwear bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. He also reportedly served as the inspiration for Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad.

U.S. officials want al-Awlaki taken out.

They missed that chance just a few years back, when al-Awlaki was imam of the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C.

Al-Awlaki has since fled to Yemen. But a CBN News investigation has revealed that the al Qaeda cleric's presence is still being felt in the leafy suburb of Falls Church, just minutes from the nation's capital.

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