FBI documents raise additional questions about Saudi and al-Aulaqi connections to 9/11

Anwar-al-AwlaqiBreitbart, by TOM FITTON:

Letting terrorists off the hook is dangerous, but inviting a terrorist to dine at the Pentagon is downright dangerous and bizarre. But that’s exactly what happened when Anwar al-Aulaqi, the American-born terrorist ultimately assassinated by President Obama, was asked to speak at a Pentagon luncheon.

The more we learn about what the government knew about al-Aulaqi, the more curious we become as to why this man was courted by those entrusted with our national security.

The same can be said for Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi national with known ties to terrorism who was arrested by British authorities working with the FBI days after the 9/11 attacks. Al-Bayoumi was subsequently released one week later. He remains at large.

Judicial Watch has been investigating the suspicious relationships between suspected terrorists and our federal government because we believe our national security has been compromised by cover-ups, incompetence and pro-jihadist political correctness.

JW recently released 79 pages of investigative reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) providing further evidence of ties between terrorist leaders Anwar al-Aulaqi and Omar al-Bayoumi, the government of Saudi Arabia, and FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) counter-terrorism investigations in the days leading up to the 9-11 terrorist attack.

Included in the new documents are dozens of pages of a case-establishing “Letterhead Memorandum” from the FBI’s Washington headquarters and San Diego field office. Limited portions of some of the memos had been previously released, but with many of the key elements heavily redacted. The documents came in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch against the U.S. Department of State and FBI on June 4, 2012.

Among the new revelations contained in the 79 pages of documents are the following:

  • The FBI had early suspicions about closer ties between Aulaqi and 9-11 hijacker Nawaf al-Hazmi than Aulaqi admitted: “This data suggests a more pervasive connection between al-Hazmi and Aulaqi than he [Aulaqi] admitted to during his interview with the FBI.”
  • The FBI had confirmed Aulaqi’s nexus with other FBI counter-terrorism investigations: “[Investigations] of Aulaqi reveal further links to other FBI International Terrorist investigations including … the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the United States.”
  • The documents explicitly state that as far back as 2001, Omar al-Bayoumi was reportedly a Saudi intelligence agent: “An individual who has requested confidentiality has stated al-Bayoumi is believed to have worked for the Saudi Arabian Intelligence Service and reports on dissident Saudis in the U.S. Rental and other records indicate al-Bayoumi consistently indicated his occupation as a student.”
  • Several pages of heavily redacted investigative reports contain analysis of pen registers of al-Aulaqi calls. These include a reference to an al-Aulaqi nexus with the DEA investigation, as well as contacts between al-Aulaqi and al-Bayoumi: “DEA Analysts are continuing analysis of telephone call activity …” and al-Aulaqi “… was also involved in call activity with … San Diego PENTTBOM subject OMAR AL-BAYOUMI. AL-BAYOUMI cosigned the lease of an apartment rented by [terrorist hijackers] NAWAF ALHAZMI and KHALID ALMIHDHAR.”
  • Omar al-Bayoumi’s activities while in San Diego, California, were apparently on behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia according to an unidentified FBI source: al-Bayoumi disclosed “to others at the Islamic Center of San Diego (ICSD) he had friends or contacts at the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles, California … [redacted] advised AL-BAYOUMI was extremely close to other ICSD Saudis … believed AL-BAYOUMI was in the United States on scholarship from the Saudi Airport Authority of Saudi Airlines ….” Saudi Airlines is the flag-carrying airline of Saudi Arabia.
  • Omar al-Bayoumi was one of dozens of other Saudis in the U.S. on similar arrangements: “[Redacted] identified AL-BAYOUMI as a ghost employee of AVCO Oversees … estimated that there were approximately fifty (50) individuals carried on the books and PCA or Dallah and being paid for doingnothing.” Dallah AVCO is headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

According to a New York Times article on a secret Congressional report in 2003, Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi national, was suspected of being a Saudi intelligence agent who may have reported to Saudi government officials. The article said that al-Bayoumi was employed by a contractor to the Saudi civil aviation authority, and received payments authorized by a Saudi official. According to the Times story, “The payments authorized by the Saudi official increased significantly after Mr. al-Bayoumi came in contact with the two hijackers in early 2000, the classified part of the report states.”

And now al-Bayoumi–the suspected Saudi intelligence agent, who co-signed a lease on behalf of terrorist hijackers and served as a “ghost employee” for a Saudi shell company–is “at large.” Even though he was once in custody by British intelligence and the FBI.

With respect to al-Aulaqi, on September 11, 2013, Judicial Watch released surveillance reports and logs it had obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealing that FBI agents trailed al-Aulaqi to the front doors of the Pentagon on the day he spoke as an invited guest at a Department of Defense luncheon.

The day before the surveillance and luncheon, al-Aulaqi had been identified as a “terrorist organization member,” and an FBI alert had been issued reading, “Warning – approach with caution . . . Do not alert the individual to the FBI’s interest and contact your local FBI field office at the earliest opportunity.” [Emphasis added] Judicial Watch had previously obtained documents from the U.S. State Department indicating that the (FBI) was aware on September 27, 2001, that al-Aulaqi had purchased airplane tickets for three of the 9/11 terrorist hijackers, including mastermind Mohammed Atta.

Subsequent to the FBI’s discovery, al-Aulaqi was detained and released by authorities at least twice.

These documents suggest that serious questions remain about what an obvious Saudi intelligence asset was doing in assisting the 9/11 hijackers. As these newly released documents confirm, as far back as the 9/11 attacks, the FBI had substantial evidence that both al-Aulaqi and al-Bayoumi were involved in 9/11. One was not punished for a dozen years, and the other still roams free. We intend to keep digging into this critical issue. It should cause concern that none of these questions were answered before Obama ordered al-Aulaqi’s controversial assassination.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton is author of the NY Times best-seller “The Corruption Chronicles” and executive producer of the documentary “District of Corruption.”

Nidal Hasan on Anwar Al-Awlaki: “We Are Muslims Trying to Establish the Religion of Allah as Supreme on the Land.”

Nidal-Hasan-beard-620x424-450x307 (1)Front Page, By :

Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood terrorist, sent the closest thing to a clear explanation of his actions to FOX News, which happens to be the only network that would actually air his statements because they contradict the Obama Inc. narrative that his was a case of workplace violence. Not terrorism.

Hasan signs his statement/confession as SOA or Soldier of Allah. His motives entirely depend on Islam and the Koran. His entire ideology is an Islamist reading that rejects national allegiances in favor of Islam.

This is his confession.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful

I, Nidal Malik Hasan, am compelled to renounce any oaths of allegiances that require me to support/defend any man made constitution (like the constitution of the United States) over the commandments mandated in Islam (Quran and Sunnah.)

The sovereignty of Allah must always prevail over the sovereignty of man.

I therefore formally renounce my oath of office as well as any other implicit or explicit oaths I have made in the past that associate partners with Allah. This includes an oath of US citizenship.

The partners reference means Shirk or idolatry. Hasan makes it clear that his theology is hard core Islamist when he refers to the Constitution as Shirk.

Do you have any closing statements?

I invite the world to read the book of Allah and decide for themselves if it is the truth.

That would be Hasan’s call to Islam.

 Question: What was your relationship with Anwar Al-Awlaki?

He was my teacher, mentor and friend. I hold him in high esteem for trying to educate Muslims about their duties to Allah. May Allah accept his martyrdom. We are imperfect Muslims trying to establish the perfect religion of Allah as supreme on the land.”

And here Hasan confesses to being Al Qaeda. He names Anwar Al-Awlaki, an Al-Qaeda leader, as his mentor, and describes them as sharing a common mission of imposing Islamic Supremacism on America.

Here is a passage from Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the current head of Al Qaeda, describing their mission.

“Warfare against infidels, loyalty to the believers, and jihad in the path of Allah: Such is a course of action that all who are vigilant for the triumph of Islam should vie in, giving and sacrificing in the cause of liberating the lands of the Muslims, making Islam supreme in its own land, and then spreading it around the world.”

The source of that delightful notion of supremacism is the Koran.

“He it is who has sent His Messenger (Mohammed) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam) to make it victorious over all religions even though the infidels may resist.” Koran 61:9

This isn’t workplace violence. It’s classical Islamic terrorism.

Declassified Docs Reveal FBI Identifying Anwar al-Aulaqi as a Terrorist Day before He Spoke at Pentagon Luncheon

Anwar-al-Awlaki-new-leader-bin-laden_blog_main_horizontalDatabase records on al-Aulaqi include FBI alert: “Warning – approach with caution … Do not alert the individual to the FBI’s interest and contact your local FBI field office at earliest opportunity.”

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealing that the agency had warned agents who spotted U.S.-born al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Aulaqi to “approach with caution” the day before he spoke as an invited guest at a Pentagon luncheon.  The documents also reveal that the FBI proposed prosecuting al-Aulaqi in 2001 and 2002 on charges stemming from the Imam’s spending a total of $2,320 for seven documented encounters with high-priced Washington, D.C., prostitutes.

The documents were obtained by Judicial Watch pursuant to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the FBI and the Department of State seeking records related to the al-Qaeda leader killed in a CIA-led U.S. drone attack.

Specific revelations contained in the newly released documents include the following:

  • The FBI had already identified al-Aulaqi as a dangerous terrorist when he was invited to speak at a Pentagon luncheon.

The documents obtained from the FBI include a computer database record showing that an FBI employee searching for al-Aulaqi’s criminal history on February 4, 2002 – the day before al-Aulaqi spoke as an invited guest at a Pentagon luncheon – retrieved information identifying al-Aulaqi as a “terrorist organization member” and containing the following alert:  “Warning – approach with caution . . . Do not alert the individual to the FBI’s interest and contact your local FBI field office at the earliest opportunity.” [Emphasis added.]

  • Al-Aulaqi spent thousands of dollars patronizing prostitutes on several occasions in 2001 and 2002, and the FBI proposed prosecuting him on charges related to that activity.

The FBI records include a June 4, 2002, memorandum from Assistant FBI Director Pasquale D’Amuro to Office of Intelligence Policy and Review Counsel James A. Baker documenting al-Aulaqi’s use of prostitutes in the Washington, DC area on at least 7 occasions between November 5, 2001 and February 4, 2002 (the day before his speech at the Pentagon). The detailed memorandum seeks Bureau approval for the prosecution of al-Aulaqi for prostitution-related charges and notes that al-Aulaqi spent a total of $2,320 for the encounters[Emphasis added.] In addition, FBI surveillance reports indicate that al-Aulaqi sought and/or engaged the services of a prostitute on at least four more occasions in January 2002.

  • Al-Aulaqi’s doctoral education was financed by the World Bank and supported by the Government of Yemen.

The documents include a July 12, 2000 letter from the Center for International Programs at New Mexico State University (where al-Aulaqi received his Master’s degree) confirming that he was, “sponsored for a Ph.D. degree under the auspices of a World Bank Community College Project in Yemen. This project will pay for Mr. al-Aulaqi’s tuition and fees, books, health insurance, and living costs while he is pursuing a Ph.D. degree program.”

  • The FBI was investigating al-Aulaqi’s links to terrorism as early as 1999.

The records include a previously Secret memorandum dated June 15, 1999 from the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s San Diego office to the FBI Director requesting that the Bureau open a counterterrorism investigation into al-Aulaqi. As part of this investigation, agents conducted surveillance of his home and at the al-Ribat mosque in San Diego where he served as Imam more than two years before the 9/11 attacks.

According to FOIA documents previously obtained from the FBI by Judicial Watch, the FBI was aware as far back as September 27, 2001, that al-Aulaqi may have purchased airplane tickets for three of the 9/11 terrorist hijackers, including mastermind Mohammed Atta. On October 10, 2002, al-Aulaqi was detained at New York’s JFK airport under a warrant for passport fraud, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. However, the FBI ordered al-Aulaqi’s release, even though the arrest warrant was still active at the time of his detention.

Read more

Also see: Exclusive Documents: Was Anwar al-Awlaki a government asset? by Catherine Herridge

Media downplay Tsarnaev connection to Muslim student group

basselnasri2By Charles C. Johnson:

Coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing has ignored admitted bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s connection to his college’s Muslim Student Association, a group that has close relations with both the Muslim Brotherhood and a local imam friendly with an al-Qaida operative.

Although a student leader and the mainstream media have downplayed Tsarnaev’s ties to the the group, Tsarnaev associated frequently with the Muslim Student Association (MSA) at University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.

The Washington Post on April 27 reported that Tsarnaev, who has admitted his role in the Marathon terrorist bombing to police, played intramural soccer with MSA members, contradicting earlier reports that the U. Mass-Dartmouth student spurned an invitation to join the controversial Muslim Brotherhood-linked student organization.

“For a time, Jahar played on an intramural soccer team composed of students involved with the campus Muslim Student Association,” explained the Post’s Marc Fisher, a fact that has since been missing from coverage.

In fact, Tsarnaev played soccer with the Muslim Student Association nearly every week, according to MSA Secretary Bassel Nasri in an interview with George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer on April 19, 2013. Nasri simply neglected to say they were MSA games. Although Stephanopoulos described Nasri as “a soccer buddy” of Tsarnaev, neither he nor Sawyer mentioned that they were co-religionists and that the soccer games were organized by the Muslim Student Association.

Read more at The Daily Caller

Checks link 9/11 hijacker to Anwar al-Awlaki

WEB-ONLY-AnwarAlAwlaki001crp_1317412621-600x350Money Jihad:

A newly released FBI report indicates that an unnamed male once received a check from radical imam Anwar al-Awlaki for $280 and gave a check for $175 to Nawaf Al-Hamzi, a hijacker on American Airlines Flight 77 that flew into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.  The transactions suggest that al-Awlaki funded Al-Hamzi through this unnamed intermediary.

This is the third report in the last two months of a U.S.-based imam having helped to finance terrorism.

Hat tip to El Grillo for tweeting this press release from Judicial Watch on Mar. 28:

JW Obtains FBI Records Detailing Banking Activity and Purchases Linking Anwar al-Aulaqi and 9/11 Hijackers

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it received documents on March 4, 2013 from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that raise new questions about close ties between Anwar al Aulaqi, the U.S.-born terrorist assassinated by a U.S. drone in Yemen on September 30, 2011, and Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar, two of the five hijackers who attacked the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. In the documents the FBI describes al Aulaqi as “The Spiritual Leader of the Hijackers.”

Judicial Watch received the documents in response to a June, 2012, Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State and Federal Bureau of Investigations (No. 1:12-cv-00893). They are part of Judicial Watch’s ongoing investigation of al Qaeda in the United States, including its current operations and support network.

Materials received by Judicial Watch reveal the following information the FBI regarded as worthy of investigation in its probe of ties between al Aulaqi and the 9/11 hijackers:

  • An undated FBI report indicates an individual received a check for $281.50 from al Aulaqi and wrote a check for $175 to al Hazmi on July 7, 2001.  There is no additional information about the transactions. The FBI apparently found the transaction to be of investigative interest because, depending on the identity of the intermediary party, it could indicate direct assistance from al Aulaqi to al Hazmi.
  • On 9/13/2001, FBI agents took possession of and searched the vehicle al Aulaqi rented in San Diego on 9/8/2001 (which he kept for one day and drove only 37 miles).  While there is no report regarding the results of the search, the action highlights the FBI’s interest in al Aulaqi and suspicions about his trip to San Diego, home to both al Hazmi and al Mihdhar leading up to the attacks.
  • An FBI report dated 10/24/2001 indicates that the Bureau became aware three days after the 9/11 attacks (9/14/2001) that al Aulaqi had rented a Mailboxes Etc. mail drop in Falls Church, VA.  The mail box was the subject of a federal grand jury subpoena.

“The more we learn about Anwar al Aulaqi, the more questions arise not only about his activities before and after 9/11, but also about the al Qaeda operational and support network still active in the United States,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It is now even more concerning that al Aulaqi was invited to the Pentagon after 9/11 and then let go by the FBI despite warrants for his arrest.”

An earlier release of FBI documents obtained by a Judicial Watch FOIA and reported by Fox News suggest that the FBI was aware on September 27, 2001, that al Aulaqi had purchased airplane tickets for three of the 9/11 terrorist hijackers, including mastermind Mohammed Atta. Subsequent to the FBI’s discovery, al Aulaqi was detained and released by authorities at least twice and had been invited to dine at the Pentagon…

Previous evidence showed that Al-Hamzi and fellow future hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar regarded their San Diego neighbor Al-Awlaki as a spiritual adviser, but the extent of Awlaki’s concrete support for the duo had not been firmly established.

Related articles

Three Convicted in Massive British Terror Plot

 

Irfan Khalid, Ashik Ali and Irfan Naseer

Irfan Khalid, Ashik Ali and Irfan Naseer

IPT - by John Rossomando:

A court in Birmingham, England has convicted three men of plotting to carry out a suicide bombing campaign inspired by the late terrorist mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki.

Irfan Khalid, Ashik Ali and Irfan Naseer were radicalized by Awlaki’s lectures and by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula’s Inspire magazine, which regularly featured the terrorist mastermind’s articles prior to his death in a September 2011 drone strike.

Police found lectures by al-Awlaki on Khalid’s cell phone, including “The Book of Jihad,” “It’s a War against Islam,” “Brutality towards Muslims” and “Stop Police Terror.”

According to the Telegraph, Khalid encouraged his fellow plotters to listen to al-Awlaki’s lectures.

Additional CD-ROMs containing talks by al-Awlaki were found in Khalid’s grandparents’ home. The terrorist leader’s messages were also found stored in Ali’s laptop and cell phone.

The trio experimented with making bombs using ammonium nitrate they removed from sports injury cold packs. Experts told the court they could have developed a viable improvised explosive device (IED) using their bomb-making recipe.

Such tactics resemble the sort of “Open Source Jihad” tactics advocated in Inspire that call for small groups or individual jihadists to make bombs and other weapons using readily available ingredients.

“They wanted to commit their own 9/11. They were critical of the July 7 [2005] bombers because they didn’t kill enough people,” said Marcus Beale, assistant commissioner of the West Midlands Police, the Guardian reported. “From evidence we presented to the court there were 8-10 bombs that they wanted to deploy, a mixture of suicide bombs and IEDs. So in terms of their capability, if they delivered on the plans that they had they would have committed mass murder on a horrendous scale.”

A coordinated series of bombings in London in 2005 killed 52 people in what is known as the 7/7 attacks.

Another of the plans the trio discussed involving the attaching of blades to the wheels of cars to mow down pedestrians came directly from an Inspire article titled, “The Ultimate Mowing Machine.”

Al-Awlaki has been tied to numerous other terror plots, including: Maj. Nidal Hasanand the Fort Hood shooting, Umar Farouq Abdulmutallab‘s plot to blow up an airliner with a bomb in his underwear and Faisal Shahzad‘s plot to blow up a truck in Times Square. The 9/11 Commission Report also stated he was tied to two of the 9/11 hijackers.

Although al-Awlaki might be gone his message lingers in his videos that are still for sale in Islamic bookstores and in more than 2,000 YouTube videos.

 

Jihad in the Amazon.com

imagesCA0RFEY8BY: :

Online retail giant Amazon.com is profiting from the sale of speeches and writings by one of the world’s most notorious terrorists despite objections from those who argue the website is facilitating the dissemination of jihadist propaganda.

The works of terrorist mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki are easily purchased in print, CD, and on Kindle e-readers via Amazon’s site.

Al-Awlaki’s materials are not being sold by Amazon directly but via third parties in the Amazon Marketplace, which acts as a clearinghouse for books, videos, and CDs. Amazon acts as an intermediary and facilitates the sale, taking a portion of the proceeds in the process.

Amazon has failed to remove the writings following multiple appeals from United States terrorism experts who argue that the international online store is aiding the spread of terrorism.

Read more at Free Beacon

Refreshing Candor on Islamist Violence in Congressional Report

American Jihadist Terrorism Combating a Complex Threatby IPT News:

Exclusive: Cleric may have booked pre-9/11 flights for hijackers, FBI documents show

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The FBI suspected within days of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that  the American Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki may have purchased tickets for some  of the hijackers for air travel in advance of the attacks, according to newly  released documents reviewed exclusively by Fox News.

The purpose of these flights remains unclear, but the 9/11 Commission report  later noted that the hijackers had used flights in the lead-up to the attacks to  test security and surveillance.

The heavily redacted records – obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom  of information Act request – suggest the FBI held evidence tying the  American-born cleric to the hijackers just 16 days after the attack that killed  nearly 3,000 Americans.

“We have FBI documents showing that the FBI knew that al-Awlaki had bought  three tickets for three of the hijackers to fly into Florida and into Las Vegas,  including the lead hijacker, Mohammad Atta,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial  Watch, told Fox News.

He added that the records show the cleric, killed in September 2011 by a U.S.  drone strike in Yemen, “was a central focus of the FBI’s investigation of 9/11.  They show he wasn’t cooperative. And they show that he was under  surveillance.”

One FBI investigative report known as a 302 summarizes the bureau’s investigation  of Al-Awlaki’s Visa transactions. While heavily redacted, the document  indicates a credit transaction for “Atta, Mohammed — American West Airlines,  08/13/2001, Washington, DC to Las Vegas to Miami,” the document says.

The mid-August flight, according to the Joint Congressional Inquiry into  9/11, which first investigated the attacks, was one of Atta’s numerous and  crucial surveillance flights.

“On August 13, Atta flew a second time across country from Washington to Las  Vegas on a Boeing 757 (seated in first class) returning on August 14 to Fort  Lauderdale,” the 9/11 report reads.

The FBI documents also show a credit card record for a “Suqami, S. —-Southwest Airlines, 07/10/2001, Ft. Lauderdale to Orlando.” Satam al-Suqami  was one of the muscle hijackers on American Airlines Flight 11, which slammed  into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.

The third individual, identified in the records is a “W. al-Sheri — National  Airlines, 08/01/2001, San Francisco to Las Vegas to Miami.”  This appears  to be either Waleed al-Shehri or Wail al-Shehri. The two brothers were also  muscle hijackers, according to the 9/11 Commission report.

As part of its ongoing investigation of the cleric, Fox News was first to  report in the special “Fox  News Reporting – The Secrets of 9/11,” broadcast in September 2011, that the  cleric was an overlooked key player in the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Read more at Fox News

 

Exclusive Video: Anwar al-Awlaki’s Long-Lost U.S. Speech from September 1, 2001

By Patrick Poole:

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which bills itself as “the largest Islamic umbrella organization in North America,” is meeting in Washington, D.C., this weekend for its annual conference. One former ISNA speaker won’t be in attendance this year — al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a CIA drone strike in Yemen on September 30, 2011.

On September 1, 2001, just days before the 9/11 attacks, Awlaki gave an infamous lecture on “tolerance” at the 2001 ISNA convention, just as some of his disciples were preparing to launch the largest terrorist attack in American history.

One of his co-panelists in 2001, Hamza Yusuf, is one of this year’s keynote speakers. At the 1995 ISNA convention, Yusuf told the crowd that  Judaism “is a most racist religion.”

Video of Awlaki’s lecture has never before been viewed by the public. PJ Media has obtained a video — watch it above in its entirety.

At the time of the speech, Awlaki was a media darling. The New York Times hailed him as part of “a new generation of Muslim leader capable of merging East and West.” NPR contrasted Awlaki with Osama bin Laden, describing Awlaki as one of the “moderates who want to solve the problems without violence” and someone who could “build bridges between Islam and the West.” Awlaki was even featured in a November 2001 Washington Post Ramadan online chat.

The recognition of Awlaki wasn’t exclusive to the media. He was also leading prayers for congressional Muslim staffers on Capitol Hill. Post-9/11, he was lecturing on Islam inside the executive dining room of the Pentagon, still scarred from the al-Qaeda hijackers that had crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into it.

He was, according to the Wall Street Journal, even one of the instructors that taught prospective Muslim chaplains for the U.S. military.

Despite those media and government accolades and recognition, the assessment that Anwar al-Awlaki was a bridge of moderation between Islam, buttressed by his lectures on “tolerance,” was a facade. The belief that he was a peaceful moderate is part of what terrorism researcher J.M. Berger has dubbed “the myth of Anwar al-Awlaki.” In fact, Awlaki’s extremism — notwithstanding his lectures on “tolerance” — was more than evident prior to 9/11 and his speech at ISNA.

A week after he gave that speech and just two days before 9/11, Awlaki was speaking at UC Irvine – with many of the same leaders speaking at the ISNA convention this weekend — at a fundraiser for cop-killer and ISNA shura council member Jamil al-Amin. Awlaki flew back to Washington, D.C., on the same morning that his three disciples boarded American Airlines Flight 77.

Two days after 9/11, Awlaki described the terrorist attack as an “accident” while talking to a local television station in front of the gates of his Falls Church, Virginia mosque, Dar al-Hijrah (whose extensive terror ties I have noted previously).

In his Washington Post online chat on Ramadan just weeks after the attacks, he defended the Taliban, as he did in an interview with National Geographic.

And prior to his February 2002 lecture on Islam in the executive dining room of the Pentagon, he had been interviewed by the FBI on four separate occasions for his assistance of and secret meetings with three of the hijackers, who had followed Awlaki from San Diego to Northern Virginia. Just days after that Pentagon event, Awlaki quietly slipped out of the country and moved to the UK.

Not long after he left the U.S., Awlaki was part of the congressional investigation into the 9/11 attacks. The head of that inquiry, Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL), has publicly said: “There was a high probability that they (the hijackers) had shared with Awlaki what they were planning to do.”

Read more at PJMedia

Patrick Poole is a national security and terrorism correspondent for PJMedia. Follow me on Twitter.

Troubling Questions About al-Awlaki, Fort Hood after ‘Misleading’ FBI Testimony

by Bridget Johnson:

A congressional probe into the Fort Hood massacre is now directed at the top of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as questions brew over whether a senior FBI official misled lawmakers in testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), chairman of the subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science responsible for funding the FBI, had asked Director Robert Mueller to come testify at an Aug. 1 hearing on the Webster Commission report into the November 2009 shootings, but the bureau sent Mark Giuliano, the FBI’s executive assistant director for national security.

The trial of Army Major Nidal Hasan, accused of killing 13 at Fort Hood, is expected to begin next week. Proceedings have been delayed by the question of whether or not the court can force him to shave his beard for trial.

In a lengthy letter to Mueller yesterday, Wolf raised concerns that Giuliano “made comments to the committee that I believe were misleading or incorrect with regard to the nature of findings in the Webster Commission report and the FBI’s understanding of Anwar Aulaqi at various points over the last decade.”

In all, Wolf singled out six troubling statements from the FBI official as “potentially misleading, uninformed or incomplete.”

At the hearing, Wolf grilled Giuliano on whether political correctness led to agents being gun-shy about aggressively pursing Hasan’s links with Islamic extremists.

“The report did not find political correctness was in any way, shape, or form responsible for his lack of going forward with the interview,” Giuliano responded.

But the Webster Commission report, requisitioned by the FBI and led by former FBI Director William H. Webster, says on two pages that the San Diego officers who reported suspicions about Hasan were told by officials in Washington that “political sensitivities” were a factor in the office’s decision not to investigate Hasan further.

“I repeatedly asked Mr. Giuiliano to cite the section of the report that found that there was no political correctness ‘in any way, shape, or form,’ but he refused. When I confronted him about misleading the committee, he admitted that I was correct on that point,” Wolf wrote in the letter to Mueller. “Later in the hearing reversed again and said that he and I just ‘disagree’ on that point.”

Wolf also noted that Giuliano’s assertion that Hasan and al-Awlaki never met in Virginia has been countered by numerous media reports stating that Hasan met his mentor in 2001 when the cleric presided over his mother’s funeral. “Please confirm for the record whether or not Maj. Hasan and Aulaqi met while he served as imam for the Dar al Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia,” Wolf asked. “If so, please provide a summary of the FBI’s full understanding of their encounters, including the funeral.”

The third point of contention involves the FBI official classifying al-Awlaki, a radical cleric who became a recruiter for al-Qaeda in Yemen, as a “propagandist.”

Giuliano characterized the terrorist as such when refusing to answer a committee question on whether violent Islamic extremism was at the root of the Fort Hood massacre.

Under questioning from ranking member Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.), Giuliano said that al-Awlaki “changed and he changed a lot over the years. When he went to prison in Yemen in, you know, ’06, ’07 and as he came out and came back up online in early ’08, he still had somewhat of a moderate tone but – but began to be more of a propagandist, began to show more radical tendencies, but we could not and the [Intelligence Committee] did not see him as operational or in an operational role at that time.”

“This statement, quite simply, is fundamentally false,” Wolf wrote, citing a 2008 Washington Post article in which a U.S. counterterrorism official said there was good reason to believe al-Awlaki “has been involved in very serious terrorist activities since leaving the United States” — the same time period in which the FBI official said he “still had somewhat of a moderate tone.”

Al-Awlaki also had amassed a lengthy record of radical writings by this time, including praise of the 9/11 hijackers and Palestinian suicide bombers — far from a “moderate” tone. He even wrote of his own radicalization path, beginning with the mujahadeen in Afghanistan in the early 1990s, for al-Qaeda’s Inspire magazine shortly before his death.

The Webster Commission report, Wolf pointed out, specifically notes that at least certain sections of the bureau perceived the threat posed by Awlaki around 2009 as more serious than a mere “propagandist” or radicalizer, and the Treasury Department noted al-Awlaki’s operational role in terrorist activities in announcing his July 2010 placement on the sanctions list.

Citing additional evidence from an NYPD analysis on al-Awlaki, which showed even more terror ties, Wolf said that as early as 14 years ago the FBI was keeping a sharp eye on the radical cleric — which made Giuliano’s assertions all the more confusing.

“Given this public information demonstrating Aulaqi’s long history with al-Qaeda-affiliated groups and multiple bureau investigations, please confirm for the record whether the bureau viewed Aulaqi only as ‘propagandist’ with a ‘moderate tone’ as late as 2008, or in fact regarded him as a more complex and substantial threat than Mr. Giuliano described?” Wolf wrote.

Read more at PJ Media

The Government’s Awlaki Story Does Not Pass the Laugh Test

by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY

In the early morning hours of October 10, 2002, Anwar al-Awlaki, the notorious al Qaeda operative, was detained by U.S. Customs agents when he arrived at JFK International Airport in New York City after a flight from Saudi Arabia. At the time, he was a prime suspect in the 9/11 attacks and had been placed on terrorist watch-lists. Nevertheless, the Bush Justice Department directed Customs to release him. That decision enabled Awlaki to continue his jihadist campaign against the United States until he was finally killed in Yemen last September, in an American drone attack.

For nearly a decade since Awlaki was permitted to go free at the airport, the government has maintained that he was released because an arrest warrant for him, based on a 1993 felony passport fraud charge, had been vacated before his arrival, due to insufficient evidence. The government has suggested, moreover, that sheer coincidence explained the dismissal of the fraud charge right before Awlaki showed up at JFK: just a random assessment that a case was too weak, made by prosecutors and investigators who were unaware of Awlaki’s imminent arrival.

Now, Fox’s Catherine Herridge breaks the news that the government’s story is untrue. In House testimony this week, a top FBI official admitted that the Bureau and federal prosecutors knew Awlaki was about to return to the United States before he arrived at JFK. Furthermore, it emerged at the House hearing that the passport fraud warrant had not been vacated when Awlaki was briefly detained. The warrant remained valid and pending; it could have been used to arrest him. Instead, the Justice Department intervened to “un-arrest” him. With apologies extended by federal agents to both Awlaki and the Saudi government representative conveniently on hand to assist him, the terrorist was sprung.

I would also throw this into the hopper: The Justice Department’s rationale for dismissing the warrant is fatally flawed. Awlaki should have been arrested and prosecuted on the passport violation in 2002. That would not just have been a worthy effort in its own right; it would have had the added benefit of giving terrorism investigators more time, and more leverage, to develop a convincing terrorism case against Awlaki and other suspects. Why the case was dropped is a question that deserves much more scrutiny. After all, the release at JFK marked the second time, in a matter of months, that Awlaki wriggled free despite the heavy cloud of 9/11 suspicion that hovered over him.

To be blunt, the government’s Awlaki story does not pass the laugh test.

It was always incredible to suggest, as the Justice Department has, that Awlaki’s release was the result of a series of remarkable coincidences. Until this week, the story went something like this: After obtaining a valid arrest warrant in Denver federal court, the FBI case agent and assistant U.S. attorney assigned to the matter decided, out of the blue, to review the file. It just happened to be the day before Awlaki tried to reenter the country. There was nothing going on in the case that called for a review at that time – Awlaki was out of the country, there was no urgency to file an indictment, and an indictment on the simple charge would have been easy to obtain once the time came. One would think the FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office in a major city would have more pressing matters to attend to. Yet, they undertook to scrub their evidence and concluded – to the astonishment of federal terrorism investigators then probing Awlaki in San Diego – that the passport fraud complaint they had only recently filed against Awlaki was too weak to stand.

Abruptly, they decided to dismiss it – not sleep on it, not think about what evidence might shore it up, not consider how the information they’d amassed might warrant new charges against Awlaki. No, they just dismissed the only existing charge against a pivotal 9/11 suspect – even though many other suspects had been held for weeks, without any charges at all, on “material witness” warrants.

The government has disingenuously represented that, with the warrant already purportedly “pulled” due to the latently discovered “weakness” of its passport fraud case, there was no legitimate basis to detain Awlaki when Customs agents unexpectedly encountered him at JFK in October 2002. Thus the agents simply had no choice but to release him into the waiting arms of his Saudi handler.

 
Read more: Family Security Matters

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributor  Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad and blogs at National Review Online’s The Corner. 

FBI has more explaining to do on relationship with Anwar al-Awlaki

 

Walid Shoebat:

That Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was let go in 2002 despite there being a warrant for his arrest is not news. The Denver Post reported that information shortly after the Fort Hood massacre.

However, we are learning more about some of the details about that release thanks to a Congressional hearing at which

Via Fox News:

The FBI, for the the first time, has admitted publicly that it knew the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was returning to the U.S. in October 2002 and that an FBI agent discussed the American’s return with a U.S. attorney before he was detained and then abruptly released from federal custody.

Al-Awlaki, who would become the first American targeted for death by the CIA, eventually was killed last September in Yemen by a U.S. drone strike. Since September 2009, 26 terrorism cases have been tied to him and his digital jihad, according to the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy.

“I really want to get to the bottom (of this),” said Republican Rep. Frank Wolf, chairman of the committee that has oversight of the FBI. The committee was holding a hearing Wednesday on the Webster report on the FBI’s intelligence failures leading up to the Fort Hood massacre. Al-Awlaki exchanged 19 emails with Maj. Nidal Hasan, accused of murdering 13 in the shooting.

Wolf noted Wednesday that the Webster report makes no mention of the 2002 incident and the FBI’s role in the cleric’s release.

That leads to testimony from a senior FBI Official:

Mark Giuliano, the FBI’s assistant director for national security, testified Wednesday that the FBI knew in advance that he was making his way back to the United States, though he didn’t explain how.

Al-Awlaki was detained at New York City’s JFK airport because a customs database flagged him based on an outstanding arrest warrant. Giuliano, under intense questioning by Wolf, also admitted Wednesday there were discussions between an FBI agent and the U.S. attorney in Colorado about the U.S.-born cleric’s re-entry and the warrant.

“Yes, sir, there was a dialogue, as there always will be,” Giuliano replied. “If a case agent has a case on somebody that is coming into the country, the system is triggered and set up so that there will be a call to that case agent.”

Former FBI agents say there are only likely two explanations: The bureau let the cleric into the country to track him for intelligence, or the bureau wanted to work with him as a friendly contact.

As Breitbart points out, a man named Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer (Ret.) appears to be vindicated yet again:

There is a possible shady explanation for al-Awlaki’s release. Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer said earlier this year that al-Awlaki worked as a triple agent and an FBI asset well before 9/11. Shaffer wrote a memoir on Able Danger, a supposed Defense Intelligence Agency data-mining program that uncovered two of the three terrorist cells later implicated in the September 11 attacks, which was censored by the Pentagon. If Shaffer is correct, American intelligence had been working with al-Awlaki from the last years of the Clinton presidency.

Shaffer was railroaded by bureaucrats when he attempted to reveal the truth about Able Danger. Here, once again, he seems to have been proven right. Bolstering his credibility further is a glaring inconsistency with how al-Awlaki’s release was handled.

Via Fox:

During Wednesday’s hearing, Giuliano could not explain a significant time discrepancy. Al-Awlaki was being held in the early-morning hours of Oct. 10, 2002, when FBI agent Wade Ammerman told customs agents that “the warrant … had been pulled back.” But that couldn’t have happened while al-Awlaki was in custody, since it was only 5:40 a.m. in Colorado where the arrest warrant originated and where the courts had yet to open for the day.

In fact, documents show the warrant was still active at that time and was only vacated later that day.

The FBI has consistently maintained that the arrest warrant was pulled because the case against the cleric was weak, and it has suggested the timing, coming on the same day the cleric re-entered the U.S. at New York City’s JFK airport, was coincidental.

Read it all.

 

Fort Hood Massacre Investigated in “Fox Files: The Enemy Within” (Airs 6/15 at 10pm)

Nidal Hasan & Anwar al-Awlaki

By Catherine Herridge:

The American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki used more than 60 email addresses and  sent several thousand emails to his followers, some with encryption and code  words, while under FBI surveillance — according to a five-month investigation  by Fox News. Some of those emails were exchanged with accused Fort Hood shooter  Maj. Nidal Hasan.

“Fox Files: The Enemy Within,” which debuts on Fox News Channel June 15 at 10  p.m. ET, draws on exclusive interviews and first-hand accounts of the Fort Hood  massacre which killed 13 and injured at least 43 others on Nov. 5, 2009. For the  first time, victims of the shooting, as well as senior investigators, break  their silence about the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil since  9/11.

“He (Anwar al-Awlaki) was incredibly busy. He — during his peak period –  had upwards of 60 email accounts that he was using at any given time,” retired  FBI agent Keith Slotter told Fox Files.

Slotter, whose career spanned 25 years at the Bureau, was the special agent  in charge of the San Diego field office from 2007 to 2012. His agents at  the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), which included detailees assigned to the  FBI, tracked the cleric who was the public face of Al Qaeda 2.0 and the new  digital jihad.

Since the attacks of 9/11, there are now more than 100 JTTFs across the  country.

But in the 2011 Senate Homeland Security Committee  investigation of the Fort Hood massacre,  the FBI came under criticism for failing to act as an “effective interagency  information sharing and operation coordination mechanism.”

In other words, at times the FBI failed to share key information with  intelligence analysts under their supervision.

Slotter, who now works at a private international investigative firm  specializing in cyber crime and digital forensics, characterized the number as  “thousands of emails … over a three-year period, tens of thousands.”

By 2009, the cleric, the first American on the CIA’s kill-or-capture list,  understood he was the target of U.S. and foreign intelligence services. Fox  Files has learned al-Awlaki shunned the use of phones and turned to his keyboard  because he believed email communications were more secure.

“He’d let some (email accounts) go dark, and he’d use 10 or 15, and then  those would go dark, and he’d go to a different set. So he was constantly  revolving,” Slotter explained. “As you can imagine with that many accounts, it  was quite a lot to stay on top of.”

Asked how much of it was encrypted or used code words, Slotter replied: “I’ll  simply say, some was encrypted. And leave it at that. I don’t want to get into  the technological aspects.”

Slotter has reviewed the emails between al-Awlaki and Major Hasan. The former  FBI agent went to them many times after the attack to consider if anything was  missed.

“I reviewed those emails many times. I had them bound on my desk, had  all of them. There was nothing really in there that would indicate al-Awlaki  prompting Major Hasan to do something.”

Also in 2009, at the same time al-Awlaki was exchanging emails with Hasan,  Fox Files has confirmed the radical American cleric was sending highly encrypted  emails calling for a major terrorist attack.

Read more at Fox News

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