For the best intel on Anwar al-Awlaki, mentor to the Chattanooga terrorist and the Charlie Hebdo Paris attackers, visit Paul Thompson’s website: historycommons.org

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By Peter Lance July 23rd, 2015 – With the NYT reporting that Mohammod Abdulazzez, the shooter who allegedly killed five U.S. service members in Tennesses and with Reuters reporting (in January) that one of the two Kouachi brothers behind the attack at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris had been financed by U.S.-born terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, the best background on how the FBI failed to connect the dots on the Yemeni-based cleric, killed in a September 2011 U.S. drone strike is Paul Thompson’s remarkable database HistoryCommons.org. 

In 2004 while researching my second book for HarperCollins, which focused on the 9/11 Commission, I was privileged to write the Foreword to Paul’s book, “The Terror Timeline: Year by Year, Day by Day, Minute by Minute: A Comprehensive Chronicle of the Road to 9/11 — and America’s Response.”

Later, in 2010, building on the work done by Paul and my own independent  research I wrote two pieces  for Gotham City Insider which discussed al-Awlaki in the context of the Fort Hood Massacre.

Like Cherif Kouchai, who confessed just prior to his death in Paris, that he’d been influenced by al-Awlaki, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the convicted Fort Hood shooter, also interfaced with the Yemeni-based cleric.

Al-Awlaki, a one-man jihadi recruiting network, also met directly with two of the 9/11 hijackers in San Diego. And astonishingly the bearded cleric with the spectacles and slight build was also linked to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab the so-called “underwear bomber,” the 2005 London subway bombings, a terror cell exposed in Ontario Canada in 2006, and Faisal Shahzad, whose plot to explode an IED in Times Square failed in 2010.

At the time I wrote the two pieces, the U.S. Justice Department had decided to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) the accused “9/11 mastermind” in New York City. But opposition from many conservative groups caused the DOJ to back down and KSM is still being held at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp.

This is an excerpt from Part Two of my series:

We now know that in May, 2001 Maj. Hasan held his mother’s funeral at a Falls Church Virginia mosque where al-Awalki had been cleric. In one of the emails, monitored by the FBI six months before the Fort Hood massacre, Maj. Hasan told al Awlaki “I can’t wait to join you” in the afterlife.

Two degrees of separation between Maj. Hasan and KSM
In 2004 U.S. News reported that post 9/11, German authorities found the phone number of al Awlaki’s Dar al Hijrah mosque in the apartment of Ramzi Binalshibh, Khalid Shaikh’s Number Two, who will also go on trial in New York.
While no evidence has surfaced that al -Awlaki ever met KSM, the link between the Fairfax mosque and Ramzi Binalshibh makes for two degrees of separation between the 9/11 “executive director,” Khalid Shaikh and the fanatical U.S. Army psychiatrist who allegedly left 13 dead and 30 wounded at Fort Hood.
There’s also a disturbing parallel between the FBI’s failure to detect Ali Mohamed as a threat to U.S. security and the Bureau’s lapses in monitoring Maj. Hasan.
The Weekly Standard quoted the FBI as admitting that Hasan came to their attention “in December 2008” and that the Joint Terrorism Task Force “reviewed … communications between…Hasan and (al-Awlaki) and deemed them “consistent with research being conducted by Maj. Hasan…” Contrast that with the London Telegraph’s report: in one outburst at Walter Reed Army Hospital, Hasan declared that non-believers should be beheaded and “have boiling oil poured down their throats;” hardly the view of a serious medical researcher.
As documented in Part I, al Qaeda’s master spy Ali Mohamed not only exhibited openly hostile jihadist views while serving as an E5 sergeant at the JFK Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, the Army even used him to make a training video in which he articulated his radical Islamic beliefs. 20 years ago an actual agent of al Qaeda had burrowed into a highly secure Army facility and after he was discovered and arrested a decade later, the Army didn’t seem to learn its lesson.
A revelation or another cover up?
The continuing Hasan investigation will shed new light on whether the Bureau has sufficiently reformed in the years since the 9/11. The question is, will federal prosecutors have the courage to come clean on years of negligence by the two “Bin Laden offices of origin” and put the man who snookered them on the stand as the chief witness against KSM?
Ali Mohamed remains the greatest enigma in the war on terror. Locked away somewhere in custodial witness protection there are seals upon seals on his case. Having skirted the fate that awaits KSM, can the convicted spy now be persuaded to testify about what he knows of the 9/11 plot and Khalid Shaikh’s role in it?
If he does, he could be to terrorism what Sammy “the bull” Gravano was to organized crime – the most lethal witness ever against the 9/11 “executive director.” A full, unexpurgated vetting of FBI/DOJ blunders at that trial could be the kind of kick in the ass the Bureau needs to finally begin its reform.
There’s little time to lose. The FBI’s failure to identify Ali Mohamed as a threat two decades ago at Fort Bragg and their recent lapses in stopping the wide-eyed shooter at Fort Hood are proof positive that the Bureau has miles to go before Americans can feel protected from the metastasizing threat of radical Islam.

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