Al-Qaeda leader had lunch with Pentagon officials after 9/11
A top al-Qaeda leader who is one of the world's most wanted men rubbed shoulders with high-ranking US military officials at a luncheon at the Pentagon in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attack, a new report said on Thursday.world Updated: Oct 21, 2010 21:41 IST
A top al-Qaeda leader who is one of the world's most wanted men rubbed shoulders with high-ranking US military officials at a luncheon at the Pentagon in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attack, a new report said.
The report details how Anwar al-Awlaki, the first American on the CIA's kill or capture list met top military personnel just months after the brazen attacks.
Fox News claim to have acquired documents that state that Awlaki was taken to the US Department of Defence's headquarters as part of the military's outreach program to the Muslim community in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks.
In an FBI interview conducted after the Fort Hood shooting in November last year, a Defence Department employee told investigators that she helped to arrange the meeting with Awlaki after seeing him speak in Alexandria, Virgina, Daily Mail reported.
One of the documents read that the employee had 'attended this talk and while she arrived late she recalls being impressed by this imam. He condemned Al Qaeda and the terrorists attacks'.
'During his talk he was harassed by members of the audience and suffered it well,' the document continued.
Other documents read: 'At that period in time, the secretary of the Army was eager to have a presentation from a moderate Muslim'.
American-born Awlaki, of Yemeni descent, '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 was apparently interviewed at least four times by the FBI in the week after the September 11 attacks because of his links to the three hijackers.
Nawaf al-Hazmi,Khalid al-Mihdhar and Hani Hanjour were all aboard Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon.
He was also linked to the alleged Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Malik Hasan who had emailed Awlaki before the attack.
'At that period in time, the secretary of the Army was eager to have a presentation from a moderate Muslim' Awlaki, a former Muslim chaplain at George Washington University, is now believed to be hiding in Yemen.
That is where he is said to have met with the Christmas Day bomber Farouk Abdulmutallab and became the go between the young Nigerian and the maker of the bombs that Abdulmutallab had planned to use.
First Published: Oct 21, 2010 21:39 IST