(FOX NEWS) 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.

 

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