The federal government has released documents that show Anwar al-Awlaki, the former Denver resident and onetime al-Qaida leader who was killed in 2011 in a U.S. missile strike in Yemen ordered by President Obama, was followed by the FBI to the doors of the Pentagon, where he was an invited guest.
WND reported earlier this year that Judicial Watch, the government watchdog agency that investigates and reports on government corruption, found FBI authorities knew Awlaki was linked to several 9/11 hijackers weeks before he was invited to lunch at the Pentagon in an “outreach” to Muslims.
At the time, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the more “we learn about Anwar al-Awlaki, the more questions arise not only about his activities before and after 9/11, but also about the al-Qaida operational and support network still active in the United States.”
“It is now even more concerning that Awlaki was invited to the Pentagon after 9/11 and then let go by the FBI despite warrants for his arrest,” Fitton said.
It was reported in 2010 that Awlaki was a lunch guest of military brass at the Pentagon months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
Now Judicial Watch says it has obtained surveillance reports and logs from the FBI showing federal agents trailed Awlaki 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-Awlaki 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,’” Judicial Watch reported.
The organization reported an FBI surveillance log for Feb. 5, 2002, at 11:30 a.m., said, “Awlaki boarded the Metro train, blue line north for the Pentagon.” At 11:32 a.m., “Awlaki exited the Metro train, walked through the turnstyle [sic] and greeted two unidentified white females.”
The report said that at 11:40 a.m., “Awlaki and the two unidentified females walked through the train station, onto the escalator, walked southwest and west adjacent to the Pentagon, up the steps and walked northeast towards the entrance to the Pentagon.” And at 12 p.m., ‘Surveillance discontinued at the Pentagon.’”
Judicial Watch said the 262 pages of documents were obtained in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI and the Department of State seeking records related to the al-Qaida leader’s death in a CIA-led U.S. drone attack.
Judicial Watch also listed other revelations from the FBI:
- On Jan. 5, 2002, Awlaki was at the offices of the American Muslim Foundation (the defunct 501(c)(3) branch of the American Muslim Council). Both organizations were headed by Abdurahman al-Amoudi, a U.S. citizen currently serving 23 years in jail on terror related charges, according to the Department of Justices.
- On Feb. 1, 2002, al-Awlaki’s wife was followed to the Institute for Islamic and Arab Sciences in America in Merrifield, Va. That site was run by the Saudi Arabia Cultural Mission and reportedly was used to train U.S. military chaplains. After it was raided by the FBI in 2004, the State Department revoked diplomatic visas of 11 people connected there. Several senators later alleged it was among the groups linked to terror.
- On Feb. 3, 2002, after apparently attending a Christian education meeting at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Va., Awlaki was allegedly trolling The City Paper’s classified section for a prostitute. According to the FBI log, “Surveillance is of the opinion that Awlaki read and subsequently discarded the newspaper away from his home because he did not want to take it home. Aware of Awlaki’s interest in ‘call girls’ or ‘escort services,’ surveillance believes that Awlaki was looking at ‘The City Paper’s’ classified sections for potential endeavors.”
Judicial Watch reported that it has obtained more than 1,800 pages of records to its request for documents regarding the FBI’s investigation of Awlaki’s role as “spiritual adviser” to two of the 9/11 hijackers, his suspected involvement with terrorism as early as 1999, his banking activities, his frequent patronizing of prostitutes and the State Department’s revocation of his passport approximately six months before his death.
“The documents also raise serious questions as to the nature of the relationship between al-Awlaki and the U.S. government. As Fox News reported on August 23, 2013, ‘A four year investigation by Fox News, and newly declassified documents obtained separately by Judicial Watch, are raising questions over the U.S. government’s handling of Anwar al-Awlaki, and whether it tried to recruit the radical American cleric as an intelligence source in 2002.’”
Documents obtained by Judicial Watch “document Keystone-cop incompetence by our national security establishment,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “For the FBI to follow a known terrorist to the Pentagon where the terrorist has a high-level meeting is beyond comprehension. It is becoming increasingly apparent that there’s more than meets the eye in Obama’s assassination of al-Awlaki. We were told that he was a terrorist, when in fact he was also probably a U.S. government informant. Did Obama know about this? Congress and the media need to get on the ball.”
Awlaki was a Yemeni-American who was born in Las Cruces, N.M. He was interviewed by the FBI several times in the weeks after the attacks because of his ties to the three hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Hani Hanjour.
The three were aboard Flight 77 that slammed into the Pentagon.