Report: Awlaki came to Pentagon as guest after 9/11

Al-Qaida leader, wanted by the CIA, was invited to Pentagon as part of Muslim outreach program; US Defense officials offer no explanation.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 21, 2010 21:13
1 minute read.
9/11 imam anwar al awlaki in Yemen

anwar al awlaki 311. (photo credit: AP)

Anwar al-Awlaki, who has allegedly been tied to terror attacks and is included on the CIA's kill or capture list, attended a lunch at the Pentagon as a guest of the US military just a few months after the Sept. 11 attacks, revealed Fox News Wednesday after obtaining exclusive documents.

Awlawki was reportedly invited to the Pentagon as part of outreach efforts to the Muslim community following 9/11.

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An employee of the Defense Department told investigators that she assisted in arranging the meeting with Awlaki after she heard him speak in Virginia.

One of the documents stated, as quoted by Fox News, "At that period in time, the secretary of the Army (redacted) was eager to have a presentation from a moderate Muslim."

The document reportedly added that Awlaki "was considered to be an 'up and coming' member of the Islamic community. After her vetting, Aulaqi (Awlaki) was invited to and attended a luncheon at the Pentagon in the secretary of the Army's Office of Government Counsel."

Awlaki, a Yemeni-American cleric who was questioned by the FBI several times immediately following 9/11 because of his alleged ties to three hijackers that were onboard the plane that crashed into the Pentagon, is also suspected of having ties to Ft. Hood shooter Major Nidal Malik Hasan and to the Christmas Day bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

The Pentagon has not given an explanation for how Awlaki ended up as a guest at the Defense Department headquarters.

According to Fox News, a top-ranking FBI official said that at the time Awlaki came to the Pentagon, there was a great deal of "arrogance" regarding the background checking process there.

The official said, as quoted by Fox, "They vetted people politically and showed indifference toward security and intelligence advice of others."

Awlaki is allegedly believed to be hiding in Yemen.


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