Significance of Awlaki Story Cannot be Over Stated
Late last night, Fox News ran a story that stayed on the main page from about 1am to 3am which may have been a part of the most significant story in recent history. In that story, Fox News reported that the FBI has admitted that it knew that Anwar al-Awlaki was returning to the U.S. in October of 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.
This admission is especially chilling given that in June of 2011, DoD lawyers admitted that in February of 2002 Anwar al-Awlaki was invited to the Pentagon as part of a DoD program to talk with moderate muslims. Also invited to that conference were several DoD leaders from the Pentagon and the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Anwar al-Awlaki was an American and Yemini iman who was killed in September of 2011 by an American drone in Yemen. He was the first American killed as part of President Obama's assassination list. He was killed because he was designated as a terrorist after being tried in a court in-absentia. He was accused of posting sermons on the internet that incited terrorism and that he preached to a number of al-Qaeda members and affiliates, including three of the 9/11 hijackers, Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan, and "Underwear Bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. He was also allegedly involved in planning the underwear attack.
So this means that al-Awlaki was so dangerous that even though he was a US citizen he was killed without a real trial and without being able to defend himself. However, he was allowed to come into the country and leave at will. He was arrested in accordance with an outstanding warrant and was released at the request of the goverment. He was also invited to the Pentagon just months after the 9/11 attack. And yet eventually, the same man that was so dangerous that he had to be assassinated was viewed as a "moderate muslim" just a few years before the assassination.
We track the Awlaki story as part of a controversy for President Obama's program to assassinate American citizens. We have not tracked the apparent collusion between al-Awlaki and the American government as it occured during President Bush's administration.