American Morning

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November 11th, 2009
06:15 AM ET

A new, hipper kind of extremist

By Carol Costello and Ronni Berke

Who is Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical Yemeni cleric, who called the alleged Fort Hood shooter Nadal Hasan a "hero?" And could he inspire young men in the United States to commit violent acts in the name of their religion?

Some experts say al-Awlaki represents a new kind of terrorist: charismatic, young, soft-spoken and Facebook-savvy. They describe him as a "low-key" extremist, not known for fiery rhetoric.

On Facebook, al-Awlaki has more than 5,000 friends. American-born, fluent in English, his influence in the West should not be discounted, says Jarret Brachman, author of "Global Jihadism," and an adviser to the government on terrorism.

"A lot of guys in the United States read al-Awlaki's work. They watch his videos they listen to his sermons," says Brachman. "His personality's very engaging, very candid, you know he's playful, he's got a great sense of humor," he adds. "The guy is very appealing to people who are kind of dipping their toes into, into radicalism."

He's been on law enforcement's radar for years, says Brachman: "He can take you all the way to al Qaeda – that's the concerning part about him."


Filed under: Controversy
November 11th, 2009
05:45 AM ET

Lawyers not immune from recession woes

By Nailah Ellis Timberlake

When Corinne Rivers graduated from college and got a full scholarship to law school, she thought she had it made. "I graduated debt free," she said. "Who could ask for anything else?"

Little did Corinne know that she she'd eventually have to ask for help finding a job.

In 2008, Corinne graduated from Rutgers School of Law, passed the Bar Exam and was sworn in as an attorney in both New Jersey and New York. Corinne immediately began looking for jobs in litigation, but came up empty. "Being unemployed has affected my ego a bit," she said. "No one expects someone with two degrees not to find employment."

Especially someone like Corinne. In law school, she was the was associate editor and research editor for the Rutgers Race Law Review. After graduation, she served for a year as a judicial law clerk for the now retired New Jersey Superior Court Judge Frances L. Antonin. "Career services at the law school referred me to their online site for job listings. They never prepared me to deal with a job search in a tough economic environment," she said.

She's not the only lawyer looking for a job and many experts believe this is as bad as it's ever been for attorneys looking for work. According to the National Law Journal's annual survey of the nation's 250 largest law firms, the number of attorneys in the private sector dropped 4% in 2009 – only the third time the lawyer count has dropped since 1978. "It shows the impact of the recession and how business is down for law firms," says the Journal's associate editor, Leigh Jones.


Filed under: Economy
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