December 31, 2009

Anwar Awlaki Met with Nigerian

Internet jihaddist, Yemeni-American Anwar Awlaki has been a busy bee, issuing fatwas, negotiating tribal alliances, and meeting with would-be suicide bombers. In his recent public statements and interviews, Awlaki justified attacks on US military personnel as legitimate jihad. Apparently he promoted also attacks on civilians as acceptable (if not required) by Islamic law. The Freds are looking into charges.


Under questioning by the FBI, Abdulmutallab has said that he met with Awlaki and senior Al Qaeda members during an extended trip to Yemen this year, and that the cleric was involved in some elements of planning or preparing the attack and in providing religious justification for it, officials said.

Other intelligence linking Awlaki to Abdulmutallab became apparent after the attempted bombing, including communications intercepted by the National Security Agency indicating that the cleric was meeting with "a Nigerian" in preparation for some kind of operation, according to a U.S. intelligence official....

The FBI has been investigating possible criminal charges against Awlaki stemming from his suspected attempts to spur extremists on to violence, including Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the alleged Ft. Hood shooter, an FBI official confirmed Wednesday.

But counter-terrorism officials say it was only recently that Awlaki forged close ties with the Yemen-based regional affiliate of Osama bin Laden's terrorism network, known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula....

Evan Kohlmann, a government counter-terrorism consultant, said Awlaki had been providing fatwas, or Islamic decrees, endorsing attacks by Al Qaeda in Yemen and playing a central role in its recruitment efforts, logistics, strategy and communications.

More recently, he said, Awlaki has been instrumental in negotiating alliances between the Al Qaeda affiliate and powerful Yemeni tribes that protect it from government crackdowns.

U.S. authorities are alarmed by Awlaki's new role within the Al Qaeda affiliate not only because of those alliances and his influence on the Internet, but because of his familiarity with the United States, its customs and security measures, said the U.S. intelligence official.

By Jane at 08:51 AM | Comments |