Iowa’s congressional delegation is praising the U.S. military operation which killed two al Qaida operatives in Yemen. 

Congressman Bruce Braley says the two “got what they deserved.”  Congressman Tom Latham, a Republican from Ames, says this is a major development in the war on terror.

“Al-Awiaki was a conspirator in charge of propaganda. He was in charge of recruiting terrorists to strike America,” Latham says. “Attempts in New York City, certainly down in Fort Hood — all those people were inspired by him.”

The military strike early this morning killed an American citizen who was editing an on-line magazine for terrorists as well as the 40-year-old American cleric who authorities say sent at least 20 emails to the man who killed 13 people during a shooting at Fort Hood. 

“Certainly this is not the end of al Qaida,” Latham says. “But it is a very important step in eliminating this threat to the United States and to the rest of the world.” 

Two other Iowa congressmen released written statements today. Congressman Leonard Boswell, a Democrat from Des Moines, said the incident shows “the battle against terrorism never ends and knows no borders.”  Boswell praised the men and women of the military and the U.S. intelligence community for their “never-ending persistence” in pursuing these terrorists. 

Congressman Dave Loebsack, a Democrat from Iowa City, also “applauded” the U.S. military and intelligence agenices. “The killing of Anwar al-Awlaki is a significant blow to al Qaeda in Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula, as he will no longer be able to target American citizens and our security interests around the globe,” said Loebsack. 

Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Kiron, is traveling and unavailable for comment.

Congressman Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, spoke about the incident this morning during taping of IPTV’s “Iowa Press” program.